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— The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission says it will trap a colony of feral cats at an access point to the Little Red River near Heber Springs.

The commission said Wednesday that the cats prowling the Barnett Access are posing a threat to human health and to wildlife in the area.

The cats regularly kill birds and are estimated to kill twice as many mammals as they do birds.

The agency says that the cats transmit disease through droppings, fleas, bites and scratches. They can transmit illnesses that include rabies, toxoplasmosis, hook worms, and typhus.

Wildlife officers will set non-lethal traps at night baited with sardines. The traps will be collected each morning.

Game and Fish is working with the Heber Springs Humane Society on the project.

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Archived Comments

  • LevyRat
    June 28, 2012 at 11:04 a.m.

    Hey, contact Mayor Patrick Henry Hayes in NLR, he can tell you about a "special hunt" that will take care of this kind of problem. Oh wait, that did "fly" did it.

    Meanwhile, git ur cowboy boots and hat on partner, we are going to have a roundup. It's gonna be fun, especially if you have ever tried to "herd" cats! Go to YouTube and query "cowboys herding cats". It's a hoot!!!

  • phantagrae
    June 28, 2012 at 2:28 p.m.

    I kind of doubt that feral cats pose much of a scratching/biting threat to people as long as people aren't trying to catch or hold them. It is true that feral cats suffer more from diseases and injuries, and I hope that the Humane Society in Heber Springs has a plan for them other than just euthanizing them.
    While it's very hard to domesticate adult feral cats, their kittens can usually be placed in homes. But I would hope they're not just going to euthanize all the adults in the colony. It's not like feral cats go around killing livestock or snatching babies.
    I wonder what their "solution" is going to be.

  • NatureAdvocate
    June 28, 2012 at 6:56 p.m.

    Congratulations on their intelligent decision to rid their lands of this highly destructive invasive-species, but they will quickly find that trapping them just won't work. Trap & kill failed to curb cat populations just as much as trap & sterilize is an even bigger failure. Any trapping method used just cannot catch-up to cats' breeding rates. Especially a man-made invasive-species like these cats that can breed 2-4X's faster than any naturally occurring cat species. The ONLY action that man has ever done which can eradicate a species in the wild fast enough is "Hunted to Extinction" (or extirpation of all outdoor cats in this case). This is a hard cold fact. Using a mistake of human behavior in the past and employing it as a viable solution to clean up this man-made ecological disaster of today. Fighting fire with fire if you will. Shoot-on-sight is the ONLY method that is faster than these cats can out-breed and out-adapt to. The phrase known 'round the world never became "trapped to extinction" -- because trapping is too slow to cause the now-needed results.

    It worked on my land. May it work as fast and as inexpensively where you live as well. I, for one, know that NO cat will ever leave my property and ever become a problem for anyone or anything else in the world again. I only wish now that all others were as respectful and responsible of their planet and neighbor as I have learned to be. And contrary to cat-lovers' oft-spewed and relentless pack of lies, their "vacuum effect" is a bald-faced lie. I shot and buried hundreds of cats on my land over two years ago. NONE have replaced them in all this time. Simple reason being: CATS ATTRACT CATS. Get rid of every last one and there's none there to attract more of them. If you want more cats, allow even one of them to stay around, more will find you. Should even ONE cat ever step paw on my land ever again? Shoot-on-sight A.S.A.P. (and bury them to protect wildlife from cats' diseases even after they are dead). Because if I don't I'll be up to my a** in cats again, with them destroying all my wildlife and spreading their deadly diseases everywhere again -- back to square one. That's never going to happen, EVER AGAIN.

    It took me 15 years to learn this lesson. I tried to reason with cat-lovers all that time, trying to be respectful and "nice" about it. Asking cat-lovers to stop their cats solved absolutely nothing and only made matters worse and worse. That's a lesson that I will never forget. No amount of being "nice" is going to solve an ecological disaster of this magnitude. The time for being "nice" to cat-lovers is OVER, DONE, FINISHED. You don't ask your local thieves how to safeguard your valuables, just as you don't ask a delusional invasive-species advocate how to protect your native wildlife. Learn from this. Don't make the same mistake I did by trying to reason with cat-lovers. Just do what needs to be done and there'll be nothing to argue about. Simple as that.

  • Ransan
    June 28, 2012 at 7 p.m.

    You can't be serious. The G&F Commission goes after CATS??? Is that to justify its existence? How does a cat, especially a cat on the wrong side of the street, qualify as game or fish??? Cat lovers of Arkansas should unite. This wouldn't happen to dogs.

  • NatureAdvocate
    June 28, 2012 at 7:13 p.m.

    phantagrae,

    Yes, cats DO kill livestock. (And so so much more. From the smallest of prey that are skinned alive and disemboweled alive for cats' hourly play-toys, up to the top predators in every ecosystem that are starved to death from cats' using their only foods of cats' tortured play-toys.)

    If you advocate for cats as rodent-control on farms and ranches you've already doomed them to being destroyed by drowning or shooting when it becomes a financial liability more than any asset. Ranchers and farmers worldwide are fully aware that cats' Toxoplasma gondii parasite can cause the very same birth defects (hydrocephaly and microcephaly), still-births, and miscarriages in their livestock and important wildlife as it can in pregnant women. Consequently, this is also how this cats' brain-parasite gets into your meats and onto your dinner-tables, from herbivores ingesting this cat-parasites' oocysts in the soils, transferred to the plants and grains that they eat. Not even washing your hands in bleach will destroy this parasites' oocysts if you have contracted it from your garden or yard that a cat has defecated in.

    This is why any cats are ROUTINELY destroyed around gestating livestock and wildlife-management areas in the most efficient, humane, and least-expensive method available. Common rural practice everywhere. The risk of financial loss from dead livestock and important native wildlife from an invasive-species cat is far too great to do otherwise. This cats' parasite is now even killing off rare marine-mammals along all coastal regions from run-off containing this cat-parasites' oocysts. These man-made invasive-species cats are WORSE than any oil-spill. Cats not only kill off wildlife along all coastal regions but in every ecosystem where cats are found today..

    The next time you bite into that whole-grain veggie-muffin or McBurger, you need to just envision biting down on a shot-dead or drowned kitten or cat. For that's precisely how that food supply got to your mouth -- whether you want to face up to it or not. It's not going to change reality no matter how much you twist your mind away from the truth of your world.

    If you want to blame someone for the drowning and shooting of cats, you need to prosecute yourself -- every time you eat.

  • Oldearkie
    June 28, 2012 at 10:38 p.m.

    How about a cookout? Of course, check for healthy first. Back in the forties in Texas, there were few stray cats or dogs and the street vendors always had tamales for sale. I love a good tamale to this day.

  • NatureAdvocate
    June 28, 2012 at 11:33 p.m.

    @inquire,

    Your energies are sorely misplaced. Direct them instead at fellow cat-lovers like you who are the direct cause of the problem.

    Destroying cats is NOT a fear of cats nor even hating cats.

    Why do mentally-unbalanced and psychotic cat-advocates always presume that if someone is removing a highly destructive, deadly disease spreading, human-engineered invasive-species from the native habitat to restore it back into natural balance that they must hate that organism? Does someone who destroys Zebra Mussels, Kudzu, African Cichlids, Burmese Pythons, Brown Tree Snakes, or any of the other myriad destructive invasive-species have some personal problem with that species? (Many of which are escaped PETS that don't even spread any harmful diseases, unlike cats.) Your ignorance and blatant biases are revealed in your declaring that people who destroy cats must somehow hate or fear cats. Nothing could be further from the truth.

    It is people who let a destructive invasive-species roam free that tortures-to-death all other wildlife that have zero respect for life. They don't even care about their cats dying a slow torturous death from exposure, animal attacks, diseases, starvation, dehydration, becoming road-kill, environmental poisons. etc., the way that ALL stray cats suffer to death. They don't even respect their fellow human being. This speaks more than volumes about your disgusting character. People like you should be locked up in prison for life for your cruelty to all animals, your own cats as well as all the native wildlife that you let your cats skin alive or disembowel alive. If you let cats roam free you are violating every animal-abandonment, animal-neglect, animal-endangerment, and invasive-species law in existence.

    If people DO hate cats today, have LEARNED to hate cats today, you have nobody but yourself and everyone just like you to blame. YOU are the reason people are now realizing that all excess cats must be destroyed on-site and on-sight. You've done so much to make people care about cats, haven't you.

    THIS IS YOUR FAULT and THE FAULT OF EVERYONE JUST LIKE YOU. You have NOBODY but yourselves to blame.

    You can take that all the way to the very last shot-dead cat's grave.

  • NatureAdvocate
    June 28, 2012 at 11:41 p.m.

    @Oldearkie,

    Due to all the heinous and deadly diseases that cats carry and spread today, it would be wrong to advise they be used for anything in this day and age (even in jest). The risk to anyone dressing them for even the use of their furs today (as they were commonly used in the past) could be deadly to the people involved.

    I tried feeding one of the shot-dead cats on my land to the last few starving opossum (almost all the rest of my native wildlife starved to death from cats destroying all their food sources). Those opossum promptly died from some disease in that cat-meat. Alarming -- in that opossum, due to their cooler body temperatures, cannot contract nor transmit many common diseases, not even rabies. They are one of the most disease-free animals in N. America. (Quite an admirable species when you learn about them.) Yet ... something in that cat-meat was able to kill them all. Cats truly are complete and total wastes of flesh. They can't even be used to safely feed wild animals. Leaving any of these invasive-species cats out in nature, alive OR dead, is no better than intentionally poisoning your native wildlife to death.

    PLEASE dispose of them safely and responsibly. Wear gloves while doing so to protect yourself as well. After the last cat is gone incinerate or bury those gloves too.

    These are just the diseases they've been spreading to humans, not counting the ones they spread to all wildlife. THERE ARE NO VACCINES against many of these, and are in-fact listed as bio-terrorism agents. They include: Campylobacter Infection, Cat Scratch Disease, Coxiella burnetti Infection (Q fever), Cryptosporidium Infection, Dipylidium Infection (tapeworm), Hookworm Infection, Leptospira Infection, Giardia, Plague, Rabies, Ringworm, Salmonella Infection, Toxocara Infection, Toxoplasma. [Centers for Disease Control, July 2010] Sarcosporidiosis, Flea-borne Typhus, and Tularemia can now also be added to that list.

    (Links to proof of cats spreading many of these removed per post requirement. Businesses have even been ruined by some of them. Like those in Miami being shut-down due to feral-cats spreading hookworm in all the beaches there. The most surprising in my research is that people have already died from cat to human transmitted plague in the USA. Fleas and rats not even required if you have cats around. The cats themselves are carriers and spreaders of the plague. Totally disproving that oft-spewed myth about lack of cats causing the plague in Europe. Cats would have made it worse.)

  • NatureAdvocate
    June 28, 2012 at 11:45 p.m.

    @inquire,

    I guess according to the way that you think this must be just like all those deeply disturbed serial-killers in the making that are eradicating all those other invasive-species in N. America; like Kudzu, Purple-Loosestrife, Gypsy Moths, Emerald Ash-Borers, African Cichlids, Burmese Pythons, Brown Tree Snakes, and Eurasian Watermilfoil from their lands and lakes. MANY of which are escaped pets or were released from pets' habitats (Eurasian Watermilfoil came from pet fish aquariums).

    Or how about all those sickos that run animal-shelters, they're nothing but a bunch of child-murdering pedophiles because they have to euthanize animals every day. And every farmer and rancher that has to humanely put down an animal with a gun must be molesting and murdering everything in their county. Those damned sickos! And what about all those people in stockyards murdering all those cattle every day for your McBurgers? I bet they're a hide-out for all the serial-killers that nobody can find! And all those hunters that provide food for their family by hunting, I bet they're the worst of all!

    And of course, the ABSOLUTELY WORST, MOST MENTALLY-ILL OF ALL -- all those people who are murdering all those animals to make your cat-food for you! A bunch of demented basket cases! (on this one I'd agree)

    I bet you're onto something!

    Like your needing serious psychological help.

    Paranoid psychotic much?

  • HawgFan
    June 29, 2012 at 7:35 a.m.

    Don't just spay or neuter your pets, as Bob Barker used to say, just put down every cat you see.... Problem solved.

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