Veterinarians condemn ‘inhumane killing’ of young bobcat

Oregon

The Oregon House Interim Committee on Natural Resources will hold a hearing on Nov. 20

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Dozens of veterinarians across Oregon are calling for a full investigation into the death of a young bobcat found inside of a Eugene school.

The bobcat entered Oak Hill School in mid-October while students and staff members were present. Lane County Sheriff deputies caught it and handed it over to the Oregon State Police Fish and Wildlife Division.

ODFW said the bobcat displayed “abnormal behavior” and it was put down by an OSP trooper.

The Humane Society of the United States and national wildlife advocacy group Predator Defense later stated the bobcat was not humanely euthanized but rather killed by blunt force trauma to the head.

Fish and Wildlife said the trooper followed euthanasia guidelines but veterinarians disagree.

Sixty-two vets issued a letter to Oregon Gov. Kate Brown, demanding immediate action be taken in addressing the “wrongful and inhumane killing.”

Lane County Deputies remove a young bobcat found inside of a Eugene school, Oct. 16, 2019. (Courtesy to KOIN)

Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association Oregon State Representative Dr. Katie Bahr wrote the following in a statement shared with KOIN 6 News on Thursday:

“According to the AVMA Guidelines for the Euthanasia of Animals, manually applied blunt force trauma to the head is unacceptable for this species and situation. The method utilized in this case should more accurately be characterized as killing, and not as euthanasia. Furthermore, nonlethal alternatives for capture, removal and release could have been employed for this kitten, as they were for its companion.”

On top of a full investigation, the veterinarians are demanding the involved officials be held accountable. They also want the state to train officials who respond to wildlife calls on “humane and veterinary-approved handling of animals.”

The Oregon House Interim Committee on Natural Resources will hold a hearing on Nov. 20.

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