In a contentious decision, the Northern California town of Antioch has voted to ban feeding feral cats on public property within city limits. Debate over the new ordinance solicited a number of speakers at a town hall meeting, most of whom urged the city council to consider a trap-neuter-return program for strays.
"It's just a bad situation for the environment and for public health and for economic development," Steve Duran, Antioch's city manager, told CBS San Francisco. "The problem was created not by cats, but people who dump cats, and people who feed cats with no responsibility for taking care of them."
Many animal welfare activists, however, have argued that the best way to address the "bad situation" is to care for stray cats and prevent an increase in the feral population. A number of Antioch residents who spoke at the meeting plan to petition the city council to set up feeding areas in specific, controlled locations before the ordinance becomes law at the end of the month.