The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey not only are trying to fight terrorism, but they also are fighting against feral cats that live around Kennedy International Airport.
A colony of about 50 to 75 cats live in a parking lot near Building 67 at JFK Airport, which is part of the Delta Airlines cargo area. The cats have been cared for by airport employees and workers with cat rescue groups. Animal welfare groups have also taken many of the cats to get spayed or neutered. The colony sleeps in plastic packing containers and play around an old fuel tanker truck.
But now the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has prevented animal welfare groups from caring for the cats. Cat rescue workers and volunteers said that they were told if they did show up, they would be arrested.
A Port Authority spokesman said the colony of cats will be rounded up in the next few days and will be turned over to Animal Care and Control. He said none will be killed.
The spokesman added, â€œItâ€™s a sizable population, and itâ€™s creating a hazard for the aircraft. We wouldnâ€™t for a second jeopardize the safety of the 46 million-plus passengers who use J.F.K. every year.â€
He also stated that when food is being left out cats, this attracts other animals like rodents and birds, and birds can cause a problem by flying into aircraft engines.
But animal welfare groups disagree with the Port Authority’s actions. They also believe that the cats will be euthanized instead of being adopted into new homes.
“The Port Authority’s claim that feeding these cats is attracting large numbers of birds who, in turn, could bring down a jet is beyond absurd,” according to Bryan Kortis, Executive Director of Neighborhood Cats, a leading cat advocacy group. “There isn’t any food left for the birds and, besides, cats have been at JFK for decades. Now all of a sudden when concerned groups want to neuter and care for these cats, they’re a security threat. The public needs to let Port Authority know loud and clear we’re not as stupid as they think and won’t buy their concocted justification for needlessly killing these animals.”
UPDATE: Animal Care and Control of New York City, the organization that is supposed to take the cats, admitted that most of the cats will be euthanized. They said because the cats are feral and they don’t have enough resources to rehabilitate the cats, most likely the cats will be put down.