Cook County Commissioner Larry Suffredin of Evanston will step into a heated fight between bird and cat lovers when he holds a hearing next month on the county’s feral cat ordinance.

The ordinance, on the books for five years, provides for the managed care of feral cat colonies by people working with animal protection groups.

Under the ordinance, the cats are generally captured, neutered and then returned to the wild, on the theory that stopping their reproduction will control the size of the colonies.

But reports that the Audobon Society and other bird advocates, citing a recent study that claimed wild and domestic cats kill 2.4 billion birds a year in the United States, wants the feral cats killed instead.

Donna Alexander, head of the county’s Department of Animal and Rabies Control, says the ordinance has been very successful — but the bird lovers aren’t buying it.

The hearing is tentatively scheduled for March 19.

Original story

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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