Cats & Birds is pleased to have been invited by the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies to host a panel discussion on our program at the National Animal Welfare Conference yesterday. The panel, entitled “Keep Cats Safe & Save Bird Lives,” explored the key learnings of our pilot in Guelph, Ontario, in which Nature Canada teamed up with animal welfare, veterinarian, and nature conservation groups to make real progress on this issue.
Nature Canada’s Senior Conservation Manager, Ted Cheskey, was joined by Dr. Tyler Flockhart, population ecologist and conservation biologist at the University of Guelph; Lisa Veit, the Associate Director of the Guelph Humane Society; and Sarah Cooper, the Program Manager of Keep Cats Safe & Save Bird Lives. Together they outlined the breadth of perspectives on this complex issue, the scientific research behind it, and the process they followed to move the dialogue in Guelph from a battleground to the dinner table, changing the narrative and allowing the community to make real progress.
Key learnings of the Guelph pilot include:
• Collaboration is the key;
• The importance of positive messaging;
• Empowering community members to participate
Once we have completed the pilot project in Guelph, we will capture our learnings into a toolkit for use in other municipalities.
We are grateful to the CFHS for allowing us this wonderful opportunity to speak directly to its members at the National Animal Welfare Conference.