Tuesday, February 11, 2014


PSA, infographics put facts in context to stand up for the birds—and for the cats

BETHESDA, MD—Alley Cat Allies, the nation’s largest advocacy organization for cats, just unveiled an educational campaign that focuses on the real threats to birds worldwide—humans and human-led activity, including habitat loss, pollution and climate change—in response to a tide of misinformation and scare tactics from so-called bird advocates that demonize cats and distort the truth.

“Blaming cats for the loss of birds is not leadership or advocacy—it is propaganda,” said Becky Robinson, president and founder of Alley Cat Allies. “Bird groups like the American Bird Conservancy (ABC) are abandoning their mission by pitting cats against birds to get headlines, and ignoring the threats that are having the most profound impacts on wildlife. We have no choice but to step in, because someone needs to set the record straight.”

The campaign features a website and a Public Service Announcement, as well as several shareable social media infographics that point out that bird deaths are attributed to a much more pervasive predator: humans. According to experts, the major causes of bird deaths are the large scale disappearance of coastal wetlands and other habitats; climate change; pesticides and other pollution; and collision with wind turbines, windows and automobiles.

Every year 70 million birds die from pesticides, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). USDA also finds that at least 100 million birds die from striking windows each year.

“In recent years, some people have misguidedly blamed cats for declining bird populations, but it isn’t the relationship between cats and birds that has changed—it’s the relationship between humans and the environment,” Robinson said. “Condemning cats is a dangerous distraction from the real threat—human impact.”

In the last decade, the number of local governments that officially endorse Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR), the only humane approach to feral cats, has increased tenfold to more than 430. Municipalities nationwide are realizing that TNR is not only humane and effective, but it also saves taxpayer dollars.

“Unfortunately groups like ABC are trying to roll back this change with scare tactics including misguided ‘legal action’ and ad campaigns,” Robinson said. “In the meantime, the most impactful threat to birds doesn’t get the attention it deserves. As an organization that values the lives of all animals, we cannot let that stand.”

The PSA, infographics and more information are available at www.alleycat.org/SaveTheBirds.