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Birder Admits Killing Cat, but Was It Animal Cruelty?

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posted on Nov, 14 2007 @ 11:09 PM
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GALVESTON, Tex., Nov. 13 — Jurors heard opening arguments on Tuesday in the trial of a bird-watching enthusiast who fatally shot a cat that he said was stalking endangered shorebirds.

James M. Stevenson says he was protecting piping plovers.
The defendant, James M. Stevenson, is the founder of the Galveston Ornithological Society and leads bird-watching tours on this Gulf Coast island 60 miles southeast of Houston. If convicted on animal cruelty charges in the shooting last November, he faces up to two years in jail and a $10,000 fine.

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posted on Nov, 14 2007 @ 11:13 PM
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reply to post by Musky
 


This is taking things a little too far in my opinion. It seems the man killed a wild cat that was attacking endangered birds. While maybe he was a little misguided in his actions, I believe he was well intentioned. To be facing serious penalty for this makes no sense to me. Think of the costs involved with prosecuting this guy.



posted on Nov, 15 2007 @ 08:48 AM
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If it was feral, then he probably did it a favor. Feral cats have a hard life, are diseased and usually only live for very short amounts of time in a wild state. Anyway, if it was Australia, they'd be paying him for the pelt because feral cats in AUS do so much damage to the native wildlife.

I guess it is all a matter of perspective -- where the cat was makes the man's act either right or wrong.



posted on Nov, 15 2007 @ 10:51 AM
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Great case in animal ethics.

Cases like this are big in Florida where there are lots of birds and ferral cats. What this case will come down to is what kinds of birds the cat was killing.

Under the Migartory Bird Treaty Act if this cat was killing migratory birds than it had every right to be sacificed. Under this law, the toll collector who cared and feed for the cat could be in volation.

She said that the cat had a name, Mama Cat, and that though the cat lived under a toll bridge, she was fed and cared for by a toll collector,

The law states, any person who willfully allows his or her cat to injure or kill migratory birds is, in effect, in violation of this federal law.

If this cat was feed, than it is killing for the 'sport', and really had every legal right to be euthanized.

However, the defendant should have left Animal Control officers capture and euthanize the cat. According AVMA Guidelines on Euthanasia, gun shot is not an acceptable means of euthanizing cats.

that Mr. Stevenson “shot that animal in cold blood” and that the cat died a slow and painful death “gurgling on its own blood.”


What it comes down to, is yes the animal should have been put down, but by proper means. And not by



posted on Nov, 15 2007 @ 11:11 AM
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reply to post by testrat
 


What makes this more interesting is that it was legal to shoot feral cats in Texas at the time the shooting took place. That law was changed 9/1/07 in response to this case.

They are charging this man based on the idea the bridge worker was the owner of this cat because he fed it and put out a mattress for it and other feral cats to sleep on. But does a few bowls of food and a mattress imply ownership? I would think ownership entails vaccinations, health check ups, etc. Classifying this cat as a pet is a stretch in my opinion. An expensive one, too. I heard this discussed on the radio yesterday, and the prosecution has gone so far as to have the cat autopsied to prove there was commercial cat food in its intestinal tract. I wonder if they tested for endangered sea birds?

A year ago or so, the Wisconsin DNR wanted to allow hunters to shoot feral cats in the woods because of their affect on song bird populations, but there was a huge outcry and they backed off.

It's amazing how many ways you can look at a case like this.



posted on Nov, 15 2007 @ 11:28 AM
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Originally posted by Musky
[But does a few bowls of food and a mattress imply ownership? I would think ownership entails vaccinations, health check ups, etc. Classifying this cat as a pet is a stretch in my opinion.



I'm really not sure if there is a legal way to determine if an animal is a pet. How I understand the law if you provide palatable food, potable water, and a suitable environment it can be classified as a pet.



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