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Tough feral cat policies may have negative impact

An ordinance was passed by the city council in Columbia, Missouri, that imposes stricter regulations for those caring for colonies of feral cats. The passing of the ordinance was a defeat for caretakers and organizations that support them, who say it will make caring for the cats more expensive, the Missourian reports.

The ordinance states that anyone feeding or harboring cats in Columbia must spay or neuter each member of the colony, trap the cats annually to test them for feline leukemia and feline immunodeficiency virus, tip their ears and insert microchips, vaccinate them, and remove kittens to be placed in homes or foster care, according to the news source.

Columbia Mayor Bob McDavid said that 100 percent of the correspondence he received regarding the ordinance was opposed to it, according to Connect Mid-Missouri. Despite letters to lawmakers from feral cat caretakers and local humane societies, the ordinance was passed 4 to 2.

The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) recommends several financial assistance resources for organizations looking to help the feral cat population of the U.S., which currently numbers more than 50 million. 
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