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Cat group campaign says people, not cats, are top threat to birds

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A national cat advocacy organization has launched a public relations campaign to make the point that people, not cats, are the biggest threat to birds.

The Alley Cat Allies (ACA) effort, which includes a new “save the birds” website and a one-minute online video, seeks to discredit claims by some bird groups that feral cats are extinguishing bird populations. Citing U.S. government statistics, wildlife groups and others, ACA said that habitat destruction, climate change, pesticides and collisions with automobiles, wind turbines and windows are the major causes of bird deaths, killing more than a billion of them each year.

Allegations that feral cats threaten the feathered creatures have been used to build a case against trap-neuter-return (TNR), which has grown in popularity in recent years as an alternative to traditional animal control practices of trapping and killing feral cats. ACA said such claims distract from the real threat to birds, which is human impact.

“Blaming cats for the loss of birds is not leadership or advocacy -- it is propaganda,” said Becky Robinson, ACA president and founder. “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.”

To read more about the topic of cats and wildlife, view the ACA information sheet "Biology and Behavior of the Cat."

ABC did not respond to a request for comment.

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