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One outraged animal-rights advocate is calling it the “Final Solution” for feral felines.
But Rhode Island’s top veterinarian says that efforts to reduce the state’s population of wild cats have fallen short, and that euthanasia may be the answer.
“I’m not a cat hater. I’m a vet. I’m cat lover,” said state veterinarian Scott Marshall. “I just don’t see another solution to it. The solutions we have tried are ineffective.”
Marshall says feral cats are a health risk to humans and other animals because of the diseases they potentially spread, including parasites, feline HIV and rabies, which has been detected in a few cats in the past few years. He has proposed requiring animal-control officers to impound “roaming and feral cats” and mandating that animal shelters accept them and put them to death.
Dennis Tabella, director of Defenders of Animals, calls the idea “inhumane and outrageous” and says that “no cat, domestic or feral, that spends time outdoors, will be safe.”