March 20, 2005

Is Wisconsin leading the way in cat hunting?

Not at all. Here's the Minneapolis Star Tribune:
A Wisconsin proposal to declare wild or feral cats an unprotected species -- allowing them to be shot on sight -- has sparked, well, a cat fight.

Cat lovers around the nation howled in outrage, the man who made the proposal received death threats, and some Minnesota letter writers asked how Wisconsin could be so cruel to even consider such a thing.

They might be surprised to learn wild cats are fair game in Minnesota, and have been for years.

"A wild or feral cat is an unprotected species in Minnesota," said Mark Holsten, Department of Natural Resources deputy commissioner. They can be shot or trapped or otherwise killed as a nuisance animal, like gophers, skunks or weasels, Holsten said.

"If you have feral cats on your property, you can shoot them. They're [like] a gopher or a woodchuck," Holsten said.

That's not news to some rural Minnesota residents.

"We have been killing stray-wild cats for years, but apparently are not doing our job well enough," Charles Wolf of Long Prairie wrote recently to the Star Tribune. "There are still way too many of them."

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