The controversial program is conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
District 2 Councilwoman Lorie Zapf cast the dissenting vote.
The program has caused a stir because the California least tern and light-footed Ridgway's rail are safeguarded, in part, through trapping and shooting cats, gulls, crows and rats. The appeal centered on the more narrow issue of whether city officials correctly declared that the 25-year program is exempt from the California Environmental Quality Act.
Representatives of the Sierra Club and San Diego Animal Advocates contended that not enough supporting evidence backed the city's CEQA exemption.
Gary Weitzman, president/CEO of the Humane Society in San Diego, reiterated that “suggesting we trap and kill one group of wildlife to save another is contrary to the mission of San Diego's oldest nonprofit, and not the answer.”
The Humane Society has suggested that trap-neuter-return programs, paired with effective public education campaigns to reduce the number of owned cats outdoors, could produce measurable results in the future.