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Boeing Long Beach Shuts Down Cats

"You Have Been Warned"

On August 25, 2000, a female employee at the Boeing facility in Long Beach, California was followed to her van by a security guard. "You're not feeding cats are you? If you're feeding cats you'll be terminated. You've been warned."

The feral cats which populate a portion of the Boeing property destined for redevelopment have not been fed since. This same Security Guard had previously been very helpful to the cat caretakers. Perhaps the reason for his change of heart may lie in the fact that Boeing was gearing up for the announcement that came on September first of its having hired an exterminator company to trap the estimated 200 cats, along with an undetermined number of foxes and possums. The cats will be taken to the Long Beach Animal Shelter, which, by policy will euthanize them within 72 hours.

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    One would think a large company such as Boeing would investigate more humane solutions before undertaking such a Draconian measure as eradication. Actually, several advocacy organizations have urged Boeing officials as far back as May, 1999, to consider a TNR (Trap/Neuter/Return) program for the Long Beach ferals. TNR programs are working all over the world, and feral experts know that eradication programs simply don't work. Feral cat colonies have a very solid structure. Kill a few, and a few more will move in to replace them. Kill all of them and you're creating space for a whole new colony to spring up. All it takes are two breeding cats to create a colony in a short while. The real problem with ferals is the continual breeding cycle. Spay and neuter all the cats in a colony to stop this cycle, rescue and place those cats and kittens that are tame enough, and the colony will eventually cease to exist by attrition.

    These are the facts that were presented to the Boeing Long Beach officials by Alley Cat Allies in 1999 and again by In Defense of Animals and Actors and Others for Animals this year. The latter two groups negotiated for several months to set aside another part of the facility for feral cat sanctuaries, and to allow local TNR groups to handle the trapping, neutering, and relocation of the cats. Sadly, Boeing decided that IDA had failed to present a practical alternative proposal to trapping and euthanasia.

    Safety, Health, and the Environment

    Ironically, Boeing, like many huge corporations, prides itself on its environment-conscious activities and encourages its employees to go "above and beyond" by volunteering for cleanup projects in their communities.

    Above and Beyond

    Much cleanup activity in our neighboring communities comes about because dedicated Boeing employees take ownership and reach out. They do this above and beyond their job description because they know that our company is inseparable from the natural settings, towns and neighborhoods where we live.

    You could say that, for some Boeing employees, every day is Earth Day.

    Boeing Web Site
    People Reaching Solutions

    Indeed, eradication is apparently NOT Boeing company policy, as evidenced by the fact that another facility, located in Seal Beach reversed its trapping policy after meeting with IDA.

    Next Page> Boeing is not Alone > Page 1, 2, 3, 4

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    Article, Graphics Copyright © 2000 Franny Syufy

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