As Dawn Kua points out, the title of the letter is misleading. The aim is NOT to stop the feeding of community cats, but to encourage responsible feeding.
Better way to deter feeding of stray cats
Nov 28, 2005
(The Straits Times)
WE REFER to the recent correspondence on the feeding of stray cats in relation to the posters displayed by Tampines Town Council at a recent Social Responsibility Carnival.
Although we agree that feeding of strays must be done responsibly, it is regrettable that the posters conveyed messages that promoted a 'stray free' environment while discouraging the feeding of stray cats.
If the town council is not against feeding per se and was trying to convey a message to feed responsibly, it certainly did not succeed. Nor was it necessary to use this approach.
We have found that notices such as these have the opposite effect in that they cause people instead to 'ghost feed', that is, to leave food and run off without getting caught, or even throw food down from windows.
The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA), in June, produced a responsible cat feeding poster in three languages. It was sent to all town councils with a note that if they required additional copies, to let us know. This invitation still stands.
The object of the notice was to create awareness among animal lovers on keeping the environment clean through responsible feeding of stray cats.
The Cat Welfare Society also has a poster on responsible feeding, sterilisation and abandonment that we will be happy to send to any town council or volunteer that needs them.
We would like to emphasise the importance of sterilisation in keeping the stray cat (and dog) population at bay. Killing simply does not work and efforts to find a more effective humane solution to the overpopulation of strays should be considered by the authorities.
For members of the public who feed and care for strays and would like to have a stray animal sterilised, the SPCA has a voucher scheme which covers the cost of the operation at selected veterinary clinics. You can read more about it at www.spca.org.sg
The Cat Welfare Society also has subsidised sterilisation slots for volunteers and runs workshops showing volunteers how to run trap-neuter-return-manage programmes to sterilise and manage stray cats in the neighbourhood.
This programme includes solving any problems caused inadvertently by the presence of the cats.
We are also more than happy to speak to any town council, management committee or residents' committee that wants to learn more about this programme.
Finally, we invite any town council that has a problem with overpopulation of stray cats and is keen to try the sterilisation method, to contact one of the undersigned and we will be happy to meet you.
Let us all work together to bring about a caring and responsible society which takes care of homeless animals too.
Deirdre Moss (Ms)
Dawn Kua (Ms)
Director of Operations
Cat Welfare Society