It was debated across the state Monday night, and now the vote is in on a controversial plan to kill wild — or feral cats. Residents voted in favor of the plan at the spring meeting of the Conservation Congress.
The issue was whether to classify feral cats — that kill birds and small mammals — as an unprotected species. A yes vote would allow people to shoot them.
And across the state, Wisconsin residents voted 6,800 to 5,200 to make free roaming cats an unprotected species.
Opponents say they'll continue to fight the plan. "We will continue to stand against this. We just do not view shooting cats as a positive solution," says Pam McCloud Smith from the Dane Co. Humane Society.
The issue ultimately is up to the state legislature. But DNR Secretary Scott Hassert says it won't happen despite Monday night's vote.
He says there are too many unanswered questions when it comes to killing roaming cats.
The conservation congress is an advisory group to the DNR.
Here's how the vote breaks down locally: Columbia, Dodge, Green, Jefferson, and Sauk counties voted in favor, while Dane, Grant, Iowa, Lafayette, Richland, and Rock counties voted against classifying feral cats as an unprotected species.