La Crosse Hunter Wants Open Season On Free-Roaming Domestic Cats

Hunter Mark Smith welcomes wild birds onto his property, but if he sees a cat, he thinks the "invasive" animal should be considered fair game.

The 48-year-old firefighter from La Crosse has proposed that hunters in Wisconsin make free-roaming domestic cats an "unprotected species" that could be shot at will by anyone with a small-game license.

Hunters will vote on the proposal on April 11th during hearings for the Wisconsin Conservation Congress across the state.

Smith's proposal has horrified cat lovers, but some see it as a way of stopping cats from killing wild birds.

Department of Natural Resources attorney Tim Andryk says the vote would simply be an advisory recommendation to state lawmakers.

He says that to have open season on roaming cats, laws that relate to abuse of domestic animals may have to be amended.