Quislings at the Humane Society Sell Out San Nicolas's Cats to the Assassins at the Diabolical United States Fish and Wildlife Service
"The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest animal protection agency and considers the Preferred Alternative of padded leghold traps and shooting cats as inhumane regardless of how this EA labels and defends this strategy...In absolutely no case should USFWS shoot cats on San Nicolas Island."
-- Nancy Peterson of HSUS in a June 17th, 2008 letter to USFWS
The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), long known for its underhanded dealings and shekel chasing, has now committed the unpardonable sin of selling out the two-hundred or so feral cats that live on San Nicolas Island off the coast of Los Angeles to the merciless killers at the fascist and corrupt-as-hell United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). (See photo below of the island.)
In a paper entitled "Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI)," the USFWS reported on March 25th that between November of 2008 and January of this year that it and the HSUS caught seven of the cats in live traps and removed then to a shelter in Littlerock, Los Angeles County. The document is conspicuously silent as to how many cats already have been either snared in leghold traps or gunned down by assassins.
Bloodhounds also are being brought in to track the cats and marksmen equipped with battery-powered torches will hunt them at night. The USFWS's killing spree is being financed to the tune of $1,854,100 in welfare dollars and is expected to take about two years.
Moreover, the USFWS is determined that no cat will be left breathing on the island. "We have to make sure we have every one of them," the agency's Jane Hendron pledged to her supporters at the disreputable Ventura County Star of Camarillo on April 10th. (See "Feral Cats to Be Eliminated from Island.")
Even those seven cats humanely removed from San Nicolas face an uncertain fate because the USFWS has stipulated that they must be imprisoned indoors. "These cats must be kept for the remainder of their lives in humane conditions in Service-approved facilities that prevent the cats from escaping and threatening wildlife on the mainland," according to the FONSI.
Not about to leave any stone unturned, the USFWS is forcing any individuals and groups that volunteer to either foster or adopt them to sign a contract mandating that the cats will be kept inside at all times. In practical terms that constitutes a de facto death sentence for them.
Should they be willing to invest the time and resources, it might be possible for shelter workers to socialize for adoption any kittens that are brought in alive, but as far as it is known there are not any indoor sanctuaries for feral cats. Worst of all, no one is monitoring the fate of those cats and kittens that are removed from the island.
Consequently, it is a good bet that those cats trapped last winter already have been killed. If against all odds that should not be the case, it is the solemn duty of the HSUS to provide the public with factual evidence as to their well-being.
In the final analysis, the inveterate cat haters and criminals at the USFWS win all the way around. They get the pleasure of slaughtering cats on San Nicolas while their accomplices at HSUS polish off those few that are removed from the island. The phony-baloney and disgraceful HSUS is therefore serving as the Devil's imp all the while masquerading as something altogether different.
By mandating that all cats removed from San Nicolas be jailed for life, the USFWS has unwittingly revealed that it is pursuing a far more ambitious agenda than merely attempting to restore San Nicolas. The goal that it and wildlife biologists and bird advocates everywhere are pursuing is nothing less than the complete eradication of all cats from the face of the earth.
This is proven not only by the USFWS's categorical rejection of all humane alternatives to killing the cats but by the United States Navy's intermittent extermination campaigns over the past thirty years. The Navy, which operates a base on the island, could have humanely solved the conflict years ago simply by initiating a trap, neuter, and return program but that would have been far too humane for those professional killers. Nothing short of the forfeiture of an ocean of feline blood and a mountain of dead cats will ever satisfy the cat-hating devils within USFWS and the Navy.
Of course, these cretins are far too dishonest and cowardly to ever come out and admit the truth. Instead, they not only vehemently deny the obvious but proclaim their abiding love for the species even as go about their en masse exterminations.
Hendron, for example, has learned how to employ this age-old dodge to her advantage every bit as adroitly as Linda Winter of the American Bird Conservancy and others. "I myself have three cats," she bellowed to the Daily Nexus of UC-Santa Barbara on April 16th. (See "Felines Threaten Island Wildlife.") "Sometimes difficult decisions must be made."
Hendron's sottise is tantamount to a mother professing her love for her children in one breath while in the next demanding that all orphans in the neighborhood be hunted down and shot. The only thing that nonsensical statement like Hendron's prove is that in addition to being criminals, individuals who think and behave like she does are grotesque liars to boot.
The HSUS's willingness to aid and abet the USFWS in its crimes on San Nicolas represents an abrupt about-face from its initial reaction to the agency's Environmental Assessment (EA) which was released last May. "The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest animal protection agency and considers the Preferred Alternative of padded leghold traps and shooting cats as inhumane regardless of how this EA labels and defends this strategy," Nancy Peterson wrote in an e-mail letter to the USWFS on June 17th. (See "Re: Comments on the Environmental Assessment for the San Nicolas Island Seabird Restoration Project.")
A litter further along Peterson unambiguously declares, "In absolutely no case should USFWS shoot scats on San Nicolas Island." (See photo of her below.)
The UWFWS certainly has not altered its policy. In fact, it most likely already has begun shooting down cats, chasing them with bloodhounds, and ensnaring them in deadly leghold traps. The only thing that has changed is that the loathsome HSUS has sold the cats down the river.
While it is tempting to suspect that some behind-the-scenes weasel deal lies at the heart of the HSUS's treachery, it must at the same time be remembered that the agency never has been very supportive of feral cats. For instance, it was not until 2006 that it reversed its policy and grudgingly endorsed TNR. It previously had referred to TNR as "subsidized abandonment."
Even on its web site it still stubbornly insists that "the best and safest place for cats to reside is in people's homes." Since TNR and a cats indoors agenda are totally incompatible, the HSUS's avowed support for feral cats is meaningless.
Furthermore, the HSUS's abandonment of San Nicolas's cats is not surprising when viewed in light of its numerous other sellouts. Most glaringly, in the past it has professed support for both the so-called "humane slaughter" of farm animals as well as vivisection. Like PETA, it also wanted to have all of Michael Vick's fighting dogs killed. At last check, roughly forty-eight of the fifty or so dogs seized from his property have been either adopted or are in the process of being rehabilitated. Clearly, there never was any need to have killed any of these horribly abused animals.
The organization's Martin Stephens even had a rather tepid reaction to the Pentagon's outrageous practice of blowing up helpless pigs. "This is a worthy goal, trying to prevent soldiers from being injured by roadside bombs," he told USA Today on April 9th. (See "Military Used Pigs in Blasts to Test Armor.") "I think the relevance of this is highly questionable. People are not pigs."
Despite its duplicity, HSUS continues to rake in the big bucks. For instance, in 2007 it had an operating budget of $120 million and boasted a membership of almost eleven million. Included amongst the faithful are politicians and celebrities who continue to either wittingly or unwittingly support its corrupt agenda. Viewed from this perspective, it would be far more accurate if it were to change its slogan from "Celebrating animals, confronting cruelty" to something more appropriate, such as "Celebrating the acquisition of big bucks and power all the while simultaneously turning a blind eye to animal cruelty."
"The Humane Society should be worried about protecting animals from cruelty. It's not doing that," its own chief investigator Robert Baker told U.S. News and World Report way back on October 2, 1995. (See "One Nonprofit's Woes.") "The place is all about power and money."
Even right-wing blowhard and rabble-rouser "Lush" Limbaugh has been buttonholed into appearing in one of the organization's videos where he declares, "I've been impressed with what I'm learning about them."
Since Limbaugh has a cat named Punkin that he dotes on, it is surprising that he would be in league with an organization that is assisting the USFWS in carrying out its atrocities on San Nicolas. (See photo below of Punkin.)
"I have a cat. That little cat, Punkin, is a treasure to me. If anybody harmed Punkin they would be punished by me," Limbaugh proclaims in the video. "There has to be a price for animal cruelty. The helpless cannot be left without defenders."
It is a pity that a smidgen of the affection that he feels for Punkin does not extend to the two-hundred cats on San Nicolas who at this very minute are staring down the barrels of rifles and shotguns while simultaneously running from dogs. (See Los Angeles Times, April 17, 2009, "Rush Limbaugh Supports Humane Society of the United States with PSA Recordings.")
Without belaboring the point, the HSUS, like its kindred spirits at PETA, is a festering cancer on the body of the animal rights movement. What is needed are individuals and groups that genuinely value animal life, not bloodsucking, moneygrubbing frauds who worship at the altar of death.
The deafening silence of other cat protection groups is almost as reprehensible as the HSUS's complicity. For instance, Alley Cat Allies, Alley Cat Rescue, and Nathan Winograd of No Kill Solutions have yet to even publicly comment on FONSI.
On April 14th, Cat Channel ran a brief article on the eradication without comment. (See "Feral Cats to Be Eliminated from San Nicolas Island.") Obviously, the network's suits and reporters are making good money and could care less about the fate of the island's cats.
Even the usually reliable Best Friends Animal Society of Kanab, Utah, is mentioned in the FONSI as having been involved in discussions regarding last winter's trapping scheme. Apparently, it came to its senses and pulled out of the arrangement at the last moment.
Nevertheless, it is imperative that Best Friends make a clean chin of it to both its supporters and the public. In particular, it must explain what it was doing in the sack with the USFWS in the first place.
The USFWS and its supporters advance several contrived rationales in a feeble attempt to justify their mass extermination of the cats. First of all, they claim that the cats are preying upon birds and that they are consuming mice needed by foxes. (See Cat Defender post of June 27, 2008 entitled "United States Fish and Wildlife Service and the Navy Hatch a Diabolical Plan to Gun Down Two-Hundred Cats on San Nicolas Island.")
So what if they are? Birds and foxes also kill cats and kittens. (See Cat Defender posts of July 31, 2006 and August 14, 2008 entitled, respectively, "Fifteen-Year-Old Cat Named Bamboo Miraculously Survives Being Abducted and Mauled by a Hoot Owl in British Columbia" and "Birds Killing Cats: Blackie Is Abducted by a Sea Gull and Then Dropped but Her Fall Is Broken by a Barbed-Wire Fence.")
Besides, foxes are not anymore entitled to San Nicolas's rodents than seabirds are to horseshoe crabs at the Jersey shore. (See Cat Defender post of May 6, 2008 entitled "National Audubon Society Wins the Right for Invasive Species of Shorebirds to Prey Upon Unborn Horseshoe Crabs.")
More to the point, San Nicolas's cats were brought to the island against their will by farmers and the Navy precisely to keep the rodent population in check. They then were cruelly abandoned and left to fend for themselves. Consequently, there is not any way that killing these already horribly exploited and abused cats can be considered to be just by any yardstick.
Secondly, the USFWS relies upon the discredited theory of natural right as an excuse for its crimes. Under that fascist dogma, animals and plants are divided into native and non-native species and the latter eradicated. As Nobel laureate and Holocaust survivor Issac Bashevis Singer once put it, "in their behavior toward creatures, all men were Nazis." Indeed, when applied to human affairs, such thinking has been used as a justification for genocide.
Despite all the hypocrisy, injustice, and heinous crimes that such malignant thinking has spawned, it nevertheless continues to flourish inside the desiccated gourds of wildlife biologists and bird advocates. For instance, since 1925 cats have been systematically exterminated from at least sixty-six islands.
In the Channel Islands, they have been extirpated from San Miguel, Santa Cruz, and Santa Barbara and most likely will be eventually eradicated on Santa Catalina and San Clemente as well. In Baja California, they have been exterminated on Coronado North, Natividad, San Benito, San Martin, and the Todos Santos Islands.
The USFWS's inveterate hatred of cats is so intense that it has even stooped to killing cats just so that it can reintroduce extinct species. That in fact is the fate that it has in store for the feral cats living on Hawaii's Big Island because it wants to return to the wild an extinct crow known as the alala. (See the USFWS's "Draft Recovery Plan for the Alala" as well as The Mercury News of San Jose, April 17, 2009, "14M Effort Announced to Save Rare Bird" and Wildlife Extra of Hereford, April 22, 2009, "Plan to Reintroduce 'Extinct' Hawaiian Crow to the Wild.")
Such a rationale is an open-ended prescription for all sorts of evil. For instance, it could be used as an excuse to empower Native Americans to drive out their European colonizers or to bring back Neanderthals so as to use them to liquidate Home sapiens.
Last month, the English government, not merely content with killing cats at home, gave Bird Life International of Cambridge $414,190 in order to exterminate cats on Palau's four-island atoll of Kayangel. (See Bird Life International, March 31, 2009, "Making Pacific Islands Rat-Free for Birds -- and People.")
A considerable amount of the thinking and tactics employed by the USFWS, bird advocates, and wildlife biologists in this country has been imported from their equally morally deprived cousins in Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. In order to subdue those distant shores, the colonialists imported millions of cats and other domestic animals which they turned around and rewarded for their invaluable service by first abandoning them to fend for themselves and then with bullets to the head.
The most prolific killers always have been the Australians who currently are in the process of exterminating at least five-hundred-thousand camels, three-hundred-thousand horses, five million donkeys, and twenty-three million pigs. All of that is in addition to millions of cats, red foxes, goats, rabbits, and cane toads. (See Agence France Presse, September 25, 2005 "Millions of Animals Face Death Sentence in Australia.")
Australia additionally has exterminated cats from islands such as Macquarie while the Kiwis have done the same on Little Barrier Island and elsewhere. (See Cat Defender post of September 21, 2006 entitled "Aussies' Mass Extermination of Cats Opens Up the Door for Mice and Rabbits to Wreak Havoc on Macquarie.")
The South Africans likewise have had a field day poisoning and gunning down cats by the thousands of Marion, Robben, and other islands. (See Cat Defender posts of March 23, 2006 and April 27, 2006 entitled, respectively, "South Africans, Supported by Ailurophobic PETA, Are Slaughtering More Cats on Robben Island" and "Cat-Hating Monster Les Underhill and Moneygrubbing Robben Island Museum Resume Slaughtering Cats in South Africa.")
In addition to the USFWS's crimes against cats, the grand design that it envisions for San Nicolas and elsewhere is sheer hypocrisy and folly. Not only is it highly unlikely that any pristine idyll ever existed on San Nicolas, but the absurdity of attempting to restore an island that is home to a large naval base should be evident for all to see. (See photo above of a barracks on the island.)
Moreover, between its captive breeding programs and electronic tagging initiatives, the USFWS treats even the species that its champions as little more than glorified guinea pigs. If the USFWS and the Navy were even halfway serious about restoring San Nicolas they would immediately vacate the island and leave the animals to live in peace.
Whether they are willing to admit it or not, they constitute an invasive species themselves and according to their own dogma do not have any right to be there. Plus, their activities are far more harmful to both the animals and the environment than the cats. They are not about to pack up and leave, however, because it is precisely through their killing, exploitation and abuse of the island's flora and fauna that they are not only able to line their pockets but to pursue their fascist agendas as well.
In addition to being cat killers and welfare bums, the USFWS conspired with its supporters within both the capitalist media and the political establishment to railroad the extermination of San Nicolas's cats by an inattentive American public and thus to subvert both the law as well as the democratic process. Its dishonest public relations offensive began on May 15th of last year when it informed Dianne Feinstein, Barbara Boxer, Lois Capps, and Elton Gallegly of California's congressional delegation of the soon to be released EA.
On May 19th, USFWS posted the EA on its Region 8 web site as well as the one belonging to the Montrose Settlements Restoration Program (MSRP). Copies of the report also were sent to public libraries in Oxnard, Santa Barbara, and Ventura County.
The EA itself it must not be forgotten was prepared by a handpicked group of cat-hating wildlife fanatics that do business under the imprimatur of H.T. Harvey and Associates of Fresno. Much more importantly, all cat advocacy groups were deliberately excluded from having any input during the preparation of this one-sided anti-cat screed.
On that same date, press releases were sent to the Los Angeles Times, the Venture County Star, the Orange County Register, the Daily Breeze of Torrance, and to six-hundred individuals and groups on the MSRP's mailing list.
Only one public meeting was held and that was at Ventura City Hall on June 4th. On June 17th, the USFWS stopped accepting comments from the public by arguing that the thirty-day period required by law had been satisfied.
The first inkling that the public had as to what the USFWS was up to came on June 5th when the Ventura County Star published a five-paragraph article on the EA. (See "Feral Cats May Be Eliminated from San Nicolas Island.") The newspaper followed up on June 6th by publishing a slightly more detailed account. (See "Biologists Want Island Cats Killed.")
The Ventura County Star therefore deliberately sat on the story for eighteen days before releasing it to the public. Even then it dispatched reporter Zeke Barlow to the island to film a two-minute anti-cat diatribe concocted by Navy biologist Grace Smith. The Star now has gone so far as to dredge up this scurrilous video and repackage it with its April 10th story on the FONSI.
The public accordingly only had twelve days in which to comment on the EA as opposed to the thirty mandated by law. Even so the USFWS received 5,788 responses.
Of those, the USFWS categorically dismissed 4,323 because they were generic e-mails. The lesson to be learned from this is that only handwritten letters delivered by the U.S. Mail carry any weight with the authorities; e-mail letters and electronic petitions are a waste of time.
Of course, tyrannical and corrupt bureaucrats, such as those who run the USFWS, never listen to the views of anyone other than their paymasters. Writing to elected officials is likewise a total waste of time for everyone except large campaign contributors. America has the worst political system that money can buy.
The Navy cannot be allowed to escape unscathed either. In addition to its flagrant crimes against cats on San Nicolas, it eradicates all of them that it discovers on its bases both at home and abroad. At its base in Rota, Spain, for instance, cats are deliberately poisoned with antifreeze while kittens are suffocated in plastic bags and then stuffed into garbage cans. (See Cat Defender posts of November 14, 2006 and June 16, 2008 entitled, respectively, "Military Killing Cats and Dogs by the Tens of Thousands as Imperialistic America Attempts to Conquer the World" and "Targeted for Elimination by the American War Machine and Cheney's Henchmen, Baghdad's Cats Are Befriended by an English Mercenary.")
The Navy additionally kills thousands of whales and dolphins each year through its use of sonar. (See San Francisco Chronicle, November 13, 2008, "Supreme Court on Sonar: Navy Trumps Whales" and The Times of London, April 8, 2009, "Military Sonar Blamed for Mass Dolphin Strandings.") That is in addition to the huge amounts of pollution that its ships, planes, and rockets discharge into the world's oceans. (See photo above of a rocket lifting off from San Nicolas.)
Make no mistake about it, the war on cats is real and those individuals and groups who knuckle under to the dictates of the species' enemies are committing a colossal faux pas. The USFWS, birders, and others look upon each capitulation as a sign of weakness and each retreat serves only to strengthen their resolve.
Finally, cats are not an invasive species. They have been living in the New World since at least 1516 and more than likely they accompanied the Vikings when they came over five-hundred years earlier.
They therefore have an inalienable right not only to life but to live outdoors as well. Besides, indoor environments are lethal to them. (See Cat Defender posts of August 22, 2007 and October 19, 2007 entitled, respectively, "Indoor Cats Are Dying from Diabetes, Hyperthyroidism, and Various Toxins in the Home" and "Smokers Are Killing Their Cats, Dogs, Birds, and Infants by Continuing to Light Up in Their Presence.")
"I happen to think it is cruel to deny a cat a cat's life," Tony Acosta wrote in Sedona Biz on April 22nd. (See "Outside or Inside: Should a Cat Be Free?") "Others think I'm cruel for allowing my cat freedom. I think they are wrong and maybe they should have their fingernails pulled out and live locked in a house for the rest of their lives so they could understand what cruelty really is."
Acosta, who cares for a cat named Atilla, went on to point out that humans have a choice when it comes to where and how they live but hypocritically deprive their cats of that same right. (See photo above of Attila.) The USFWS and other rabid cat-haters carry this prejudice one step beyond by denying feral cats the right to even exist.
Even if all cat owners foolishly agreed to imprison their companions indoors that would not satisfy the ailurophobes' lust for feline blood. They would next argue that cat feces and urine is leaching out of municipal sewerage systems and harming marine mammals or that cats are responsible for the depletion of the world's supply of fish. In fact, a cat-hating buffoon named Knute Berger from the Seattle area already is beating that drum. (See Crosscut, April 2, 2009, "Save the Planet: Get Rid of Your Cat.")
As for those spineless cat advocacy groups that are sitting idly by twiddling their thumbs while San Nicolas's cats are being systematically annihilated, they can be assured that a time is coming when they are going to rue their silence and cowardice. "If you will not fight for the right when you can easily win without bloodshed, if you will not fight when your victory will be sure and not so costly, you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a precarious chance for survival," Winston Churchill once opined.
"There may be a worse case," he continued. "You may have to fight when there is no chance of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves."
Photos: HSUS (logo), Veterinary Technician Magazine (Peterson), Channel Islands Adventure (San Nicolas Island), Los Angeles Times (Punkin), Michael Wall Engineering (sailors' barracks), Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division (rocket), and Sedona Biz (Attila).