Two animal welfare groups have obtained an injunction from the Grand Court to halt a planned cull of feral cats believed to pose a threat to native wildlife on the Sister Islands.

The Cayman Islands Humane Society and Feline Friends were granted a temporary injunction Tuesday to stop the cull, which was scheduled to begin in Little Cayman this week.

Justice Richard Williams will be asked to consider Thursday whether to grant the applicants leave to apply for judicial review of the cull program – a joint initiative between the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Environment. He is also expected to make a decision Thursday on whether to extend the injunction.

Gina Ebanks-Petrie, director of the Department of Environment, confirmed that a cull had been planned to help deal with feral cats preying on wildlife.

She said, “The DoE and DoA had planned to capture feral cats for the protection of native wildlife. An injunction has been served and the matter is now before the courts.”

The two charities are asking government officials to meet with them to discuss more humane options for dealing with the problem. They have proposed a trap, neuter, vaccinate and release program and say they are willing to provide funds and resources to assist government.

In a joint statement, the groups said they had to act swiftly after learning about the planned cull, which was scheduled to start on Tuesday, earlier this week.

“On the basis of urgency and because the Cayman Islands Humane Society, Feline Friends and the Animal Welfare Advisory Committee were not consulted on the proposed cull, both organizations jointly applied for leave for judicial review and were granted a temporary injunction from the Grand Court prohibiting the DoA and the DoE from capturing homeless cats for the purposes of destruction until the matter is further considered by the Grand Court.”

The statement said the organizations were “acutely aware” of the hardships faced by indigenous wildlife in Cayman.

In their statement, they said, “We strongly believe that the homeless cat population on Little Cayman can be managed though a well-handled, organized and systematic Trap, Neuter, Vaccinate and Release program, known as ‘TNVR.’

“The Cayman Islands Humane Society and Feline Friends are ready, willing and able, together with the support of local veterinarians to assist the DoA in developing and implementing a TNVR plan. We therefore remain committed to working with the DoA to finding humane and considered solutions and hope to be able to work collaboratively to address such matters going forward.”

Feral cats, the generational offspring of unwanted pets released into the wild, are considered a problem on all three islands.

They are believed to hunt rock iguanas on Cayman Brac and have been known to target brown-footed booby nests.

4 COMMENTS

  1. The feral cats cause much more suffering when left in the wild, neutered or otherwise. It is indisputable that they kill the local indigenous animals. Anything they can catch. And yes, they “play” with their food while it is alive and suffering. Beyond that, if you saw the condition these poor animals are in, you would agree that the only humane thing to do is to put them down. Asking for an injunction in the name of humanity is having the exact opposite affect. It is killing our local wildlife in a horrific way, and it is prolonging the suffering of these poor creatures.

  2. The endangered species do not have time for these over-abundant introduced super-predators to “live out their lives.” TNR has no record of success anywhere, and its advocates are now shipping cats across state lines in the US trying to desperately create false “success stories.” People always want to feed the cats saying that it will cause them to hunt not as often, but at the same time say how good they are for controlling rodents. So which is it? Cats are indeed insatiable killers of everything they can kill whether or not they are fed, and the cat food is made of more dead animals anyway. More animals are killed than are saved by prolonging the life of a cat with no responsible owner. It is nothing but an embarrassing madness.

  3. Mr Hillenbrand has very valid points . Wild cats vs all the other wild life on the Island . Which one is the biggest predator ? What wouldn’t a hungry cat not kill and eat in the wild . I think that all wild animals should have rights to exist in the world , but not on Islands the size of Little Cayman wild where we would like to see other wild life survive and exist . So what is the best solution for the cats ?

    I think that people should be able to sit down and work this situation out without having to tie up the Courts time , and work together to keep it under control for the betterment of everyone and the Island wildlife.

    • Unfortunately it is not possible to reason with the cat people. They hold the lives of the cats higher than that of wildlife. It makes no sense whatsoever. They also believe that cats must die from “natural causes” outside rather than ever be professionally euthanized. These are religious beliefs dug up from ancient Egypt. They also don’t care if the cats deposit infected feces into sand that children play in. You can’t reason with the other side. Only action is going to save your endangered animals.

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