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'Teeth and claws' causing bird population to plummet: Richmond councillor

Domestic cats contribute to the death of between 100 to 350 million birds every year across the globe.
21DeadBirds
Domestic cats kill millions of birds every year around the world.

Cats are one of the leading causes of bird deaths and one Richmond councillor wants the city to help stop the killing.

Coun. Michael Wolfe has a motion at next week’s committee meeting to update cat-related bylaws and educate the public in order to “reduce the number of bird and other wildlife-related fatalities from the teeth and claws of domestic cats.”

Wolfe explains in his rationale for the motion that the domestic cat contributes every year to the death of between 100 to 350 million birds world-wide.

Wolfe claims free-roaming cats are the “most problematic,” with many leaving “dead ‘presents’” for their owners.

“When humans have introduced animals into local ecosystems where they do not belong, they can wreak havoc,” Wolfe elaborates.

Solutions suggested by Wolfe’s motion include training cats to stay indoors or only allowing them out on leash and under supervision.

Wolfe compares cats to dogs, saying the latter are often contained by fences while “cats will use neighbouring properties … as their personal outdoor litter box.”

He points out, in Calgary, there are bylaws requiring cats be licensed and restricted from roaming free.

The motion is on the agenda for Monday’s general-purposes committee meeting, which takes place at 4 p.m. and is streamed live via YouTube.