Conflicts between people who provide food to stray cats and those opposed to the practice seem to be deepening. The local government of Jeonju City in Jeollabuk-do Province will install feeding places for street cats to neuter them and control their population.
On this vacant lot in a residential area, several stray cats can be seen eating food. This is a temporary feeding place for feral cats set up by the Jeonju city government.
[Soundbite] YOO SOO-KYUNG(HEAD, JEONJU CAT MOMS' GROUP) : "The feeding places will help boost the public awareness that stray cats are a communal responsibility. A coexistent relationship with them will also be formed eventually."
The Jeonju city government has been operating feeding places for stray cats at five public facilities on a trial basis, including city hall and a major parking lot. The measure is expected to help reduce the negative consequences caused by stray cats looking for food, such as noise, dug-up garbage bags and scattered trash. However, the move is being criticized as evasive, since such feeding places have not been installed in districts where residents are divided over the measure. Many critics say that there is no need to spend tax money to protect stray cats.
[Soundbite] (CRITIC(VOICE MODIFIED)) : "Street cats shed hair and spread diseases. I oppose taking care of them in my neighborhood. These days, some people even refuse to care for their parents and children."
The Jeonju city government says that the measure will eventually control the population of street cats in the long term, since the animals can be captured and neutered.
[Soundbite] MIN SEON-SIK(JEONJU CITY GOVERNMENT) : "The project is for stray cats that are at risk. But it will eventually help citizens, too."
The number of stray cats nationwide is estimated to be over one million. Despite the divided responses, attention is being drawn to whether the local government's experiment can provide a solution to the problem of str