A renewed call for conservation leadership 10 years further in the feral cat Trap-Neuter-Return debate and new opportunities for constructive dialogue
It has been 10 years since a seminal paper in the journalConservation Biologycalled for stronger leadership from the conservation community in counteringthe growing inappropriate use of Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) as a method tocontrol feral cat,Felis catus, populations. The practice is rapidly spreading toareas of wildlife and conservation significance, and the need to counter thisdevelopment is extremely urgent. So far, the promulgation of TNR has beenbased on a narrow, single-species approach to animal welfare. However, anew, yet little-noticed, species-inclusive perspective on animal welfare includesthe consideration of collateral animal suffering for a more equitable assess-ment of TNR. Each setting, depending on the level of conservation required,may call for different methods for the management of free-roaming cats. TNRis just one such method and its appropriateness depends on the specific wild-life conservation needs for each area specified.