The recently published article, ‘A Case of Letting the Cat out of the Bag—Why Trap-Neuter-Return Is Not an Ethical Solution for Stray Cat (Felis catus) Management,’ by Crawford et al. warrants rebuttal. The case presented in the paper, opposing the initiation of TNR trials in Australia, ignores peer-reviewed evidence which substantiates the effectiveness of TNR at reducing unowned urban cat numbers. In addition, the paper’s authors offer a number of unrealistic recommendations, which are little more than a rebranding of the failed status quo. Urban stray cats have long been considered a problem across Australia. Current practice calls for the trapping and killing of thousands of healthy urban stray cats and kittens each year with no apparent effect on the total population. In contrast, the literature offers numerous examples, including two recent studies in Australia, of reductions in urban stray cat numbers where TNR has been implemented. TNR has also been associated with reduced feline intake and euthanasia at shelters, which improves both animal welfare and the well-being of shelter staff. A large-scale trial of TNR in an urban Australian context is scientifically justified and long overdue.
Wolf, P.J.; Rand, J.; Swarbrick, H.; Spehar, D.D.; Norris, J. (2019). Reply to Crawford et al. (2019) Why Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) Is an Ethical Solution for Stray Cat Management. Animals 9, 689. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9090689