Hokama bill heartless, fundamentally flawed
I am very disappointed to hear that Council Member Riki Hokama has introduced Bill 6.04.041, calling for the prohibition on the feeding of feral animals, specifically cats.
We are all aware that there is a problem with the feral cat population on our islands. To address this problem on Maui, we have private citizens as well as the humane society coordinating and engaging in programs of actively monitoring, feeding, and trapping members of feral cat colonies to be spayed/neutered and released so that they cannot reproduce.
Please bear in mind that this bill deliberately starving cats is animal cruelty, plain and simple. Additionally, I and many other animal lovers in this community would like to know what happens when the feeding stops? Does he anticipate the cats will be less of a nuisance in our community? It is widely known that malnourished animals are predisposed to parasites such as fleas and ticks and if anything, they will become more invasive and infiltrate businesses and residential areas in search of food.
Finally, and I hate to point out this grim reality but what happens to the dying animals? What happens to the thousands of carcasses in our parks where keiki play and in our neighborhoods where families live? The landfill does not allow the disposal of dead animals. How will the county plan to deal with this?
We are a compassionate community and our nature and morals do not allow us to watch idly as animals suffer and starve.