Minneapolis takes notes from St. Paul on controlling feral cats

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Minneapolis is considering an ordinance, similar to St. Paul's, that would help curb the growing feral cat population.

MinnPost reports St. Paul adopted a program in 2007 that doesn't involve euthanizing the wild cats.

Instead, residents can apply to borrow a cat trap. Once the animal is trapped, the cat is taken to be spayed or neutered and eventually released back into the wild.

Advocates of the program say returning sterilized cats to the wild in place of fertile cats actually reduces the population in the long run. After the program was implemented in St. Paul, the number of impounded cats dropped significantly.

Many feral cats in Minneapolis picked up by Animal Control are euthanized. Minneapolis Council Member Cam Gordon wants to change that.

Steve Weston, vice president of the Minnesota River Valley Audubon Chapter, hasn't taken a stand on the issue, but doesn't think the approach will solve the problem. Weston says euthanizing feral cats is more humane than leaving them on the streets to suffer an ugly death.

The American Bird Conservancy has long been opposed to trap-neuter-release programs and consider feral cats to be an "invasive species," the Star Tribune reports.

In 2011, ABC claimed an estimated 95 million outdoor and feral cats in the United States kill at least 532 million birds.

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