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TNR Reality Check

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We, the undersigned, are opposed to Ordinances that permit Feral Cat Colony Management, also known as Trap-Neuter-Release or Trap-Neuter-Return or TNR.

We feel that the priority of municipalities is to safeguard our natural resources, including our native wildlife, and to ensure the safety of constituents.

We recognize that TNR Ordinances come at the expense of wildlife, already struggling to survive in isolated and fragmented habitats. Well-fed cats are no less motivated to hunt. They are a non-native, predator species, not part of the ecosystem. Many areas in New Jersey have rare, threatened, and endangered species, as well as species of special concern. Such areas are designated as critical habitat.

We also recognize that feral cat colonies pose a risk to human and animal health. Cats carry many types of bacteria and diseases that can be transmitted through bites, scratches and fecal contamination.

We further recognize that re-abandoning cats into the environment is inhumane for domestic, companion animals. Outdoor cats are subject to fatal feline diseases, abuse, vehicles, contaminants, and extreme weather conditions.

Finally, we recognize that efforts to trap, neuter and release feral cats have not resulted in effectively reducing the feral cat population. Government-endorsed ordinances enable the cycle of abandonment and undermine efforts to educate the public about responsible pet ownership.

Therefore, we demand that municipalities act responsibly when considering Feral Cat Colony Management legislation. Municipalities have an obligation to enact laws that regard the welfare of residents and wildlife.

Ordinances regarding free-roaming and feral cats should be created that include cat licensure, prohibit cats from running-at-large, and require rabies vaccinations. Should TNR or Feral Cat Colony Management be practiced, the cats must be contained if the colony is on public, municipal or state land, and confined to the caretaker's property if the colony is on private land, thereby protecting cats and wildlife and ensuring the safety of residents.

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