“20/20 aired this segment without first checking the facts,” said Becky Robinson, president and co-founder of Alley Cat Allies. “The program did not bother to turn to cat experts for fairness, balance or truth. It also ignored the massive scientific evidence pointing to people as the true cause of wildlife decline, with the greatest impacts caused by habitat loss, pollution, and urban sprawl.”
Ironically, the program was titled, “The Camera Never Lies,” but 20/20’s segment on cats was full of half-truths and misleading information.
The 20/20 segment misused unpublished data by the University of Georgia in which researchers used “kitty cams” attached to collars to follow a small group of pet cats in suburban Athens, Georgia. In one week, the 55 cats caught five birds. While erroneous headlines have trumped the cats’ natural instincts, the researchers actually found that the majority of cats studied were not hunters, and birds were by far not a major target.
Alley Cat Allies also called out 20/20 for turning to the American Bird Conservancy for comment, even though this group’s propaganda and distortions have been roundly criticized.
“The American Bird Conservancy is known for spreading fictions about outdoor cats and making wild extrapolations about their imagined impact on other species,” said Robinson. “ They've used unpublished data to fuel their extremist agenda of killing cats. There just isn't evidence that shows cats have any negative impact on bird populations.”
Readers interested in contacting ABC News about the segment will find an online form here.