Wild cats may be spreading feline AIDS
A Winnipeg Beach woman wants something to be done about diseased feral cats roaming the town.
Karen Edwards was stunned when her two cats tested positive for the feline version of AIDS. She had both of them put down last week.
Edwards believes her pets picked up the disease by fighting with the wild cats outside her home.
"People seem to look on cats as a disposable type of pet, and when they tire of them, they drop them in the downtown area, and they breed and produce what's called feral cats. If left, cats reproduce like minks, and it goes on," she says.
"The town needs to pay attention to this. They need to be trapped and looked after, in most cases, put down."
Edwards would like to see a bylaw enforcement officer hired to look after the cat problem. She says the town will discuss the issue at a meeting next week.
Vet wants cats tested
A veterinarian in Gimli agrees that more must be done. Dr. Lisa Taylor says more cats will get sick unless the problem is dealt with.
"The concern we have is the well-being of the cat, and it's also depressing for the people when their cats get a devastating disease, and then they have to deal with putting them down or having to take care of them chronically."
Taylor says the feral cats should be trapped so they can be tested for disease. If healthy, she says they could be immunized and spayed or neutered, then returned to the wild.