In Wake of Cat-Gassing, Task Force is Examining University of Idaho's 'Vermin Control Issues' 

click image FRANCISDA /123RF
  • francisda /123RF

After the Moscow-Pullman Daily News reported that University of Idaho officials had trapped and euthanized feral cats on campus, a special task force has been created by the university to address the controversy.

In late August, U of I officials confirmed seven feral cats had been trapped and put down by "the University's veterinarian via American Veterinary Medical Association standards." U of I said it had permission, but both the Idaho Department of Fish and Game and the city of Moscow deny giving the go-ahead.

Meanwhile, the Daily News put in a request for public records regarding the operation, but U of I officials said they wanted $350.93 before they started copying their files.

"The University will not expend the time and resources necessary to identify and gather the responsive records at the risk of taxpayer funds," the university wrote to the Daily News. "Consequently, you will be required to deliver advance payment in certified funds in the amount of $350.93 prior to the University commencing this process." 

Now, the Daily News reports that a five-member task force, which includes U of I veterinarian Dr. Peter Autenried—who carried out the euthanizations—has been appointed by U of I President Chuck Staben to look into the university's "vermin control" program. The task force findings and any possible policy recommendations are expected to be delivered to Staben by Saturday, Oct. 1.
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