$200,000 Fine if Your Cat Eats a Threatened Mouse

By National Center for Public Pol... | July 7, 2008 | 8:21 PM EDT

(Editor's Note: The following is the 28th of 100 stories regarding government regulation from the book Shattered Dreams, written by the National Center for Public Policy Research.CNSNews.comwill publish an additional story each day.)

Homeowners in the Pine Creek subdivision of northern Colorado Springs, Colo., are not allowed to let their cats roam outside. The rule is not out of concern for the cats, but because the cats might eat a mouse - in particular, the Preble's meadow jumping mouse. This mouse was listed as an endangered species in 1998 and has been seen in the area.

If a cat were to eat the endangered mouse and it is determined that the Endangered Species Act was knowingly violated, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) could fine the cat's owner $200,000.

The FWS has proposed designating 60,000 acres in Colorado and Wyoming as critical habitat for the mouse with kangaroo-like hind legs.

As Robert Hoff, a Colorado Springs realtor, said: "There's not a shred of evidence that this mouse is even threatened. They ought to be spending more time on protecting the real threatened species, not the phony ones."

Source: The Gazette-Montreal

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