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Thread: Greens and Feds Declare a War on Cats

  1. #1

    Exclamation Greens and Feds Declare a War on Cats

    An overzealous federal agency is targeting Florida cats in a pest removal operation and it’s becoming a huge problem for pet owners.

    Throughout the ages, cats have held a high place in society. Scholars commonly hold that felines were first domesticated in Egypt 4,000 years ago due to their ability to police the dirty, disease-carrying rodents that plagued the land. This heroic role made cats so revered in ancient Egypt that some worshiped the animals as deities.

    If a person were to kill a cat, even accidentally, the act was punishable by death. Upon their death, cats were often mummified and left to lay with their trophies: dead rats. However, times have changed for the once-renowned species.

    Criminalizing Instincts

    The Smithsonian recently published an article titled, “To Save the Woodrat, Conservationists Have to Deal with an Invasive Species First: House Cats.” This is the latest entry in the US Fish and Wildlife Service’s cat fight with residents of Key Largo, Florida, and their beloved pets.

    In 2014, the Fish and Wildlife Service implemented a pest management plan designed to trap cats the agency perceived as a threat to the Key Largo woodrat. The furry targets of this sting operation were accused of trespassing on federal land, which is a woodrat habitat, and doing what cats do best: hunt and kill rats.

    When agents prowl off of federal land to trap private citizens' cats on private land, the agents are acting unlawfully.Instead of focusing only on the large swaths of feral cats that pose the primary threat to the rats’ survival on the island, the Fish and Wildlife Service went overboard. Resident cat owners complained that agents set baited traps adjacent to the private property of the owners who live next to the federal park.

    Then, Fish and Wildlife Service agents trapped Rocky, a pet cat of Spencer Slate, a Key Largo businessman who runs a scuba diving center. According to Slate, the traps “were all about 50 feet from [his] property” when Rocky was lured in one night. As a result, Slate said that “Rocky’s face was so bloodied by the trap’s spring-shut door that he did not recognize his pet.”

    Slate discovered this after a Fish and Wildlife Service agent showed up at his business to serve him with a written citation threatening jail time for allegedly allowing Rocky to enter federal land. When delivering the citation, the agent neglected to return the captive kitten, instead depositing Rocky at an animal shelter nearly 15 miles away.

    In the face of agency abuse, Slate refused to roll over, taking his case to a federal judge who dismissed the citation after the scuba captain demonstrated that the Fish and Wildlife Service had set the trap that captured Rocky outside of federal land.

    As Mark Miller, managing attorney for the Pacific Legal Foundation’s Atlantic Center in Florida, explains, “when [Fish and Wildlife Service] agents prowl off of federal land to trap private citizens’ cats on private land, these agents’ actions implicate a number of constitutional clauses” that could make the agents’ actions unlawful.

    Furthermore, the fact that Slate was threatened with jail time for the instinctive response of his baited cat is a gross misuse of government power. This tactic represents the phenomenon of overcriminalization, the use of the criminal law and penalties to punish every mistake and to solve every problem – including a pet cat wandering around Key Largo.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Paul View Post
    The intellectual battle for liberty can appear to be a lonely one at times. However, the numbers are not as important as the principles that we hold. Leonard Read always taught that "it's not a numbers game, but an ideological game." That's why it's important to continue to provide a principled philosophy as to what the role of government ought to be, despite the numbers that stare us in the face.
    Quote Originally Posted by Origanalist View Post
    This intellectually stimulating conversation is the reason I keep coming here.

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  3. #2
    That would really piss me off.

    My family has a history of beloved cats that are like part of the family- AND- they keep the mice away. Any gov agency that punishes pets and owners for instinctive behavior, especially when said gov agents trap and lie about it, needs to take a long walk off a short pier.
    There is no spoon.

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