Straits Times 20071116: Animal lovers bare claws over cat killing

Speciesism taken to the highest level, and I’m not just talking about birders-vs-cat-lovers. Look at the last para. More articles, filched off Dawn’s blog:

The article:

Straits Times

Nov 16, 2007

Animal lovers bare claws over cat killing
Bird-watcher who shot stray cat charged with animal cruelty in Texas

GALVESTON – ANIMAL lovers in Texas are in a flap over the case of a prominent bird-watcher on trial for killing a stray cat.

On one side of the courtroom are the bird lovers, who say Jim Stevenson was protecting endangered species which are prey to cats gone wild on the beaches of Galveston near the Texas coast island in the Gulf of Mexico.

On the other side are the feline fanatics who see Stevenson as the killer of a beloved pet.

The founder of the Galveston Ornithological Society runs a bed-and- reakfast service catering to bird watchers. He has admitted killing the cat and several others that had wandered onto his property with a .22 calibre rifle in November last year,

But he said he would not have done it if he had known the cat was the pet of toll-bridge worker John Newland.

His lawyers are hoping the argument will get him cleared of animal cruelty charges.

He faces up to two years in jail and a fine of US$10,000 (S$14,000).

The case has led to a virtual fight. Blogs set up by cat enthusiasts on the Internet have called Stevenson a ‘murderous fascist’ and a ‘diabolical monster’, while blogs of bird lovers have defended his action as his right to dispense with a ‘terrible menace’ and have set up funds to help pay for his defence.

Stevenson himself said cat fanciers ‘think birds are nothing but sticks’, adding: ‘I did what I had to do.’

The cat in question lived under a toll bridge and was fed and cared for by Mr Newland. He gave it bedding and toys and even named it ‘Mama Cat’, making it his cat and not feral, argues the prosecution.

Witnesses also said the cat died a slow and painful death ‘gurgling on its own blood’, even as the prosecution and the defence wrangled repeatedly about whether witnesses could accurately assess the cat’s state of mind.

The trial has attracted few spectators apart from the two warring sides. Local historian Victor Lang said: ‘How people feel about the trial depends on who you talk to.’

He himself did not have strong feelings. ‘You see, I am a dog person. If he had shot a dog, then I’d be more upset,’ he said.



3 responses to “Straits Times 20071116: Animal lovers bare claws over cat killing

  1. From the Alley Cat Allies site: The Galveston County District Attorney’s Office has decided not to retry the case of the Galveston, Texas, man charged with animal cruelty for shooting and killing a feral cat. – More information and a news clip of the cat caregiver’s account of the events on the ACA Anti-cruelty Resouce Center page:

  2. Wow that is such BULL. What happens now?
    Does this mean that the bastard walks away scott free?

  3. *Sigh* and I thought the way we deal with David Hooi‘s case is bad.