Vector Control is headed by Gail Vangordon, and her boss is Jonathan Fielding, the bureaucrat in charge of
. Several scientists, Cristi Metropole and Bill Dyer have been trying to get a meeting with Fielding over the County’s policy to catch and kill feral cats. In the letter below, he flatly refuses the scientists’ request for a meeting. He states he is forwarding our concerns to those in charge of investigating such things and does not reveal who is reviewing County feral policy with Fielding. I suspect it is only Vangordon and Ramirez who originated the catch and kill policy. County Public Health
Fielding has strongly defended Vangordon's kill policies in the past despite enormous public opposition and input from scientists, such as from the Urban Wildlands Group.
The below an official email from Dr. Deborah Ackerman, a UCLA epidemiologist, requesting Fielding meet with other scientists concerning the County policy. Following that is Fielding's go to hell email.
Hello Dr. Fielding-
Last week I wrote to you requesting a meeting to to discuss the County's current murine typhus control program. I'm an epidemiologist on the faculty at UCLA. It has just come to my attention that the LA County Department of Public Health has begun rounding up stray and feral cats. The attached flyer posted at the
in Imperial Avenue School indicates that the contact person is Joe Ramirez, an environmental health specialist. Upon further inquiry, I have learned that similar measures are being taken at the Del Aire Park in Hawthorne . Hawthorne
Mr. Ramirez has stated that these measures are being taken because there has been an outbreak of murine typhus and this will prevent its spread. However, feral cats found free of the disease are not put up for adoption, as the flyer misleadingly states. They are killed.
As an epidemiologist I question the public health necessity for rounding up feral cats to prevent murine typhus. As a taxpayer I question the expense of this program and wonder if a cost-benefit analysis has been performed. And as a citizen who assists organizations that manage numerous feral colonies, I question the methods of such a program.
I am working with a group that includes veterinarians, wildlife experts, doctors, and animal welfare advocates. We would like to meet with you as soon as possible to discuss the County's program.
In the meantime, I ask that you suspend this program until such a meeting can be held to discuss the scientific evidence and appropriate preventive measures.
Please let me know your availability for this meeting.
Deborah L. Ackerman, M.S., Ph.D.
of Public Health UCLA School
Director, Health Outcomes Core
Jonathan Fielding's official reply:
Thank you for your email
I will be forwarding your note to those who are working on this issue and ask that they get back to you. You may also want to address your concerns to the animal care and control dept of the county and of relevant cities who determine the disposition of the feral cats.
Since this is an official matter please in the future use my county email firstname.lastname@example.org
This shows the utter
bureaucrats have any scientific input or public input as I can document in emails from Vangordon I acquired through a request for public records on an earlier case involving County Vector Control, Ramirez, Vangordon and Fielding. Fielding does not reveal to whom he is forwarding Ackerman's request for a meeting regarding County policy on feral cats. They are utterly resistant to do anything but implement their will of killing. contempt County
Dr. Fielding has written several journal articles stating his opinion that Public Health interventions must be evidence based, and consistent with community acceptance of County’s interventions. In this case, no one is offering any evidence that feral cat colonies and stray cats are a reasonable threat to human health, or that catch and kill is the best program to control feral/stray cat populations.