Here is what Drs. Longcore and Rich wrote in a 109 pages letter to the Mayor and Council of Beverly Hills on August 18, 2009 with regard to the proposed TNR legislation in that city:
TNR colonies are almost always maintained in perpetuity — a recent appeal for assistance relocating cats from a colony at Rancho Los Amigos claimed that the colony had been “well maintained since 1945” — so their location is important to residents. We believe that the issuance of permits should involve a public hearing and an appeals process to be fair to residents who will be forced to tolerate unwanted cats. Furthermore, each colony should undergo separate CEQA review because the environmental conditions and impacts will vary from location to location. In areas of the City with large lot sizes, the 150-foot radius for notice about potential colonies will be insufficient.
Longcore wants a separate CEQA study for each colony!! We can even do a CEQA study for the City of LA let alone for tens of thousands of individual colonies. This alone would make TNR impossible.
“Forced to tolerate unwanted cats” is a phrasing that points to Longcore’s own attitude. Even if he himself does not hold that view, he is raising it as an issue to shoot down the proposed Beverly Hills legislation by yanking the chains of cat haters.
Longcore and Rich also want a 300 meter (1,000 ft) buffer zone around parks wherein feral cat colonies would not be maintained. Not only would hundreds of thousands of park ferals and homeless be subject to “removal” colonies within three blocks would also be banned.
The proposed ordinance bans feeding and trapping of feral cats in public parks, which is the best feature of the proposed ordinance. However, maintenance of colonies near parks will have a similar effect on the incidence of cats in those parks. If the program is approved, would the City consider a 300 meter buffer zone around parks for maintenance of colonies? This number is derived from the average 10 ha range size for feral cats in an urban setting (Schmidt et al. 2007). A buffer of this size would decrease the number of feral cats that would then be hunting and foraging in City parks.
In fact, Londcore and Rich attack almost every proposal in the proposed TNR ordinance as being illegal, ineffective, or wrong. There is no expressed support for TNR anywhere or consideration of TNR as being even possibly effective in controlling feral populations. The BH proposed TNR ordinance was created to stop a proposed ban on TNR. By attacking the ordinance, Longcore and Rich were supporting the efforts to ban TNR. They have done the same thing in Los Angeles as their successful lawsuit proves. It is now just one small step to introduce legislation to ban feral colony caretaking.