ROTHENBURGER – Giving animals the benefit of the precautionary principle

Barny, the feral barn cat who came in from the cold. (Image: Mel Rothenburger)

ONE SNOWY evening two winters ago, I happened to look out a window towards our hay shed, a couple of hundred steps from the house.

A motion-sensor light on the shed suddenly came on as a feral cat who’d been living there emerged from the hay bales and began playing with snowflakes, leaping high into the air and swatting at them, repeating the process over and over.

My heart went out to him at that moment, for here was a creature, living alone, with only himself for sustenance and company, finding genuine pleasure in a game of his own creation.

The incident came to mind the other day when I saw the news item about Switzerland’s ban on boiling lobsters alive.


Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops, former school board chair, former editor of The Kamloops Daily News, and a current director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He was awarded the Jack Webster Foundation’s lifetime achievement award in 2011. His editorials are published Monday through Thursdays, and Saturdays on CFJC Today, CFJC Midday and CFJC Evening News. Contact him at

About Mel Rothenburger (8485 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

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