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We do our best, but we get no support

June 19, 2013

Dear Sir,

In response to ‘Feral cats cause harm’ June 12, 2013, we would like to explain the role BFAB plays in the control of the cat population in Bermuda.

BFAB’s policy is to trap, spay/neuter and release cats with the express aim of minimising the number of unsterilised cats in the community. The majority of the cats we spay (female) or neuter (male) — meaning sterilised — have arisen as a result of people not doing so with their own pets originally. Cats are often abandoned not having been sterilised by their owners and they therefore produce kittens.

People keep cats at their neighbourhoods or businesses but often do not get them sterilised. People often can not afford the prices charged by the commercial vet practices for sterilisation. The Government offers no financial support. We respond to calls from the general public who wish us to sterilise the cats that they call in to our hot-line about.

A principal reason that we feed cats in certain situations is be able to trap them to then spay-neuter them. If we don’t feed them, we can’t attract them to trap them. People in the community feed cats as they feel compassion toward them or they feel that they own the cats. The cats are released back to their area and those sterilised cats will tend to ward off other cats who would otherwise enter the area and increase the numbers all over again.

BFAB does not support the killing of healthy animals unlike some other organisations and has chosen to be focused on reducing feral cat numbers by more humane and effective methods.

BFAB has spayed more than 24,000 cats in the past 20 years. If people spayed their animals and we had a Government that would enact spay-neuter legislation for cats as we have for dogs, the issue would be reduced substantially.

We are a privately funded charity which relies on donations from the public to facilitate our professional operation. We are currently largely funded by one individual donor.

If we had more donations or a modicum of Government funding, we could increase the numbers of cats trapped and even further reduce the Island’s cat numbers. No money from public donations to BFAB funds the administration of the charity. It all goes toward the trap, spay/neuter, release programme.

Every dollar works to humanely reduce the number of feral cats in Bermuda. If readers would like to make a positive impact on this issue, we suggest that they put pressure on their elected officials to pass spay-neuter legislation for cats and suggest that the Bermuda Government explicitly support BFAB.

THE BERMUDA FELINE ASSISTANCE BUREAU

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Published June 21, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated June 20, 2013 at 4:26 pm)

We do our best, but we get no support

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