“Sylvester & Tweety” go global

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, May 2006:

Robben Island Museum, responsible for managing Robben
Island, South Africa, is again trying to eradicate feral cats.
Sharpshooters killed cats on the island in 1999 and 2005, when 58
cats were shot, but as many as 70 cats remain, environmental
coordinator Shaun Davis recently told Cape Argus reporter John Yeld.
The shooting was suspended for a time to allow animal advocacy groups
including Beauty Without Cruelty/South Africa to trap the surviving
cats and take them to mainland sanctuaries. BWC/ South Africa
spokesperson Beryl Scott told Yeld that the initial effort was “not
that successful,” partly through lack of official cooperation, but
on April 24 Davis announced that the number of traps set for cats
would be expanded from 10 to 50, and that no cats would be shot
before June. The cats are blamed by University of Cape Town avian
demographer Les Underhill for killing all but three of the fledgling
population of about 60 endangered African black oystercatchers during
the past breeding season. Allan Perrins, chief executive officer of
Cape of Good Hope branch of the South African National SPCA,
suggested that the actual culprits might have been some of the feral
rabbits on the island, who might have turned carnivorous and become
nest predators. Seals are also blamed by some observers. Seals have
been kept from re-establishing haulouts on Robben Island in recent
years to protect seabird colonies, but on April 21, 2006 “Both
Robben Island and the department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism
agreed to allow the return of Cape fur seals,” e-mailed Seal
Alert/South Africa founder Francois Hugo. Robben Island, designated
a World Heritage site by the United Nations Environmental Program,
provides habitat to 132 bird species in all.

Responding to concerns voiced by English Nature and the Royal
Society for the Protection of Birds, builder George Wimpey has
offered to include a ban on keeping cats among the covenants to which
home buyers must agree within a proposed development at Crowthorne,
Berkshire, England. The Bracknell Forest borough council earlier
refused to allow Wimpey to build on the site. Wimpey is among
Britain’s biggest developers, and is a leading member of the Thames
Valley New Homes Coalition, formed to help open habitat to housing
construction, in a nation with an increasingly acute housing

The cities of Fukuoka and Kitakyushu, Japan, are taking
opposite approaches to feral cat control, Yomiuri Shimbun reported
on March 7, 2006. Both cities are within Fukuoka Prefecture.
Fukuoka will pay cat caretakers a subsidy per cat of about 10% of the
sterilization cost, and is drafting regulations for cat colony care,
to be published in July 2006. Kitakyushu is meanwhile reportedly
close to adding feeding feral cats to a list of offenses covered by
the city nuisance ordinance, for which violators may be fined.

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