Residents at an apartment complex in Wicklow are up in arms over plans to kill a pack of feral cats that have made the area their home.
Staging a protest this morning to fend off the arrival of pest controllers, residents at the Diamond Valley Apartments in Bray said that removing the cats would be an “open invitation to every rat in the area.”
“If they do take the cats away, all the rats from around the neighbourhood will move in and then we’ll have a real problem,” said resident Louise Cardiffs.
“The bins in the underground carpark are always overflowing with rubbish, [and] without the cats it’s basically an open invitation to vermin.”
Ms Cardiffs said a pest control company had been contacted to come and kill seven feral cats in the gardens of the apartments after a fellow resident expressed concerns her child was unable to play outside because of the risk the cats posed.
“Our previous management company had agreed to neuter the cats, and had already done four of them, but after they left, a resident complained to the new management that she can’t let her child out to play because of the cats’ diseases.”
“It’s toxoplasmosis, ringworm eggs basically… and she’s saying her child is at risk of going blind if she fells into the poop or puts her fingers in it and rubs her eye.”
If accidentally ingested, roundworm eggs hatch into larvae that penetrate through the walls of the digestive tract, and in rare cases, migrate to the eyes and cause serious sight problems.
“But the truth is that you’re more likely to get it from raw meat than for cat faeces. And anyway, the only poop you see around here is from dogs, and no one is threatening to kill them.”
The demonstration was organised using the Facebook event ‘Protest the Killing of Homeless Cats in Bray’.
According to the page, management company Paula Barrett Properties Ltd have agreed to have a meeting with local residents to discuss what to do with the cats.
The residents protesting against plans to kill the feral cats said they had offered to TNR (Trap, Neuter, Release) them free of charge, something they claim the management company believes is an ineffective solution.
“The new management director, who lives in the complex, keeps telling us the TNR doesn’t work because there’s 15 cats now but we’ve seen no evidence of this. Every resident we’ve spoke to has only seen the same seven cats from before.”
“We’ve seen no evidence of nuisance, and a few of us know what we’re looking for. There’s been no piles of cat faeces, or cats running around wild."
Independent.ie has requested comment from Paula Barrett Properties Ltd about the dispute.