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December 3, 2012

Coming to Los Angeles: Conference to Discuss Free-roaming, Abandoned Cats Worldwide

Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association, Found Animals

Leading scientists, veterinarians, animal advocates and others interested in the range of concerns associated with the presence of cats outdoors will convene in Marina del Rey, Calif., on Dec. 3-4, for “The Outdoor Cat: Science and Policy from a Global Perspective,” a conference devoted to the latest scholarship and knowledge on the subject. The Humane Society of the United States, The Humane Society Institute for Science and Policy, Found Animals Foundation and the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association are co-sponsors of the conference.

David Macdonald, Ph.D., director of the Wildlife Conservation Unit at Oxford University, and Dennis Turner, Ph.D., director of the Institute for Applied Ethology and Animal Psychology, and senior research associate at the Zoology Institute of the University of Zurich are lead presenters and will serve as moderators of conference panels.

“The presence of free-roaming, abandoned and outdoor cat populations in and around human communities and in other settings has proven divisive within the humane, conservation and scientific communities,” says Andrew Rowan, Ph.D., chief scientific officer of The HSUS and director of The HSISP. “As advocates for both cats and wildlife, we believe that we can find solutions to these problems through discussion and innovation. This conference is designed to take the measure of contemporary research and science concerning outdoor cats, and to advance the integration of such evidence into better policy that protects cats, birds and other wildlife.”

Featured speakers at the conference will include behaviorists, conservation biologists, epidemiologists and veterinarians, as well as representatives from such non-profit organizations as Best Friends Animal Society, the Found Animals Foundation, the Portland Audubon Society and The HSUS.

“The Outdoor Cat” is the second conference to be held by The HSISP, an affiliate of The HSUS that promotes the application of scientific and technical analysis and expertise to animal welfare issues and policy questions worldwide. HSISP’s first conference in April 2011, “The Purebred Paradox,” resulted in calls for stricter standards, ethical codes and better scientific understanding of the problems raised by unhealthy inbreeding of dogs, and continues to influence debates over puppy mill regulation, irresponsible breeders and lemon law initiatives focusing on the pet trade.

Find more information about the conference or register to attend here.

Media Contact: Stephanie Twining, 240-751-3943, stwining@humanesociety.org

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