National Park Service offers misguided regulation

Today, you may have the power to save countless lives. We’ve issued a national alert through the Best Friends Action Center. The animals need everyone (including you) to take this very important action.

The National Park Service (NPS) is considering a rule change that would be a death sentence for many domestic animals, including cats and dogs. But together, we may be able to stop it.

The rule change is being cloaked as a service animal regulation. While this regulatory change would presumably expand access for service animals on park lands, it would have the effect of allowing the indiscriminate killing of cats on NPS land.

In fact, we believe the rule change is actually being driven by the group of people in the “conservation” community who oppose trap-neuter-return programs and have for years been lobbying for anti-cat policies.

This group (which as we’ve pointed out before has no alternatives to TNR to offer) has hit the federal government across multiple departments, pushing for broad anti-cat policies. The proposed NPS rule change is likely the harbinger of things to come.

The current NPS policy is already poor, as it allows pets (or other animals possibly construed as “domestic or feral”) deemed to be a threat to humans, livestock, or wildlife on NPS land to be “destroyed.” But the proposed regulation (designated RIN), goes even further, essentially allowing for the killing of these animals simply for being present on NPS land.

Now, to be clear, we’re not suggesting that colonies of community cats should be established in Zion National Park. And we understand the need for NPS policy addressing the issue—up to a point.

What we object to is their method: indiscriminate killing. While it’s unlikely that there are, in fact, many cases of cats (or other domestic animals) being killed by “authorized persons” within our National Parks, the legalization of the practice is both indefensible and unnecessary.

This kind of policy change is likely to have negative consequences for other federal government departments and at the state/local level too, providing rationale for similarly misguided policies.

Rather than promoting and expanding “lethal control” opportunities, we believe the NPS should work with local municipalities to ensure positive outcomes (e.g., reuniting pets, relocating community cats when no other options exist, etc.) for companion animals found on NPS lands.

The good news is that you and I can help. By proposing this rule change, NPS is giving the public the opportunity to comment — which is where you come in.

This is our chance to speak up for animal lives.

Please take action by clicking here. By voicing your opinion against this misguided regulation, you’re asking that any provisions that permit the indiscriminate killing of “domestic or feral” animals be removed from any NPS regulations. This would make the current regulations more humane, as well as preventing the rule change.

Thank you for your compassion.

Together, we can Save Them All,

Gregory Castle