Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

New Zealand set to be cat free?

cathero.jpg
evilcat.jpg
cathero33.jpg

A high-profile New Zealand economist has launched a campaign to rid the country of cats that he says threatens native birdlife. And a scientist supports him.

Garteh Morgan set up the Cats To Go website - complete with a Photoshopped picture of a kitten with devil horns - yesterday to try and persuade fellow-New Zealanders to give up their cat-loving ways.

While he does not call for an outright cull, the well-known businessman believes euthanasia is "an option" and wants people to at least not buy or breed anymore cats. He also thinks cat owners should keep their pets indoors and believes registration should be mandatory, in order to help maintain the native birds he says are being wiped out by cats, dogs and rodents.

"Imagine a New Zealand teeming with native wildlife, penguins on the beach, kiwis roaming about in your garden," Morgan writes on his website. "Imagine hearing birdsong in our cities."

Pitching his idea to a country with of the highest cat ownership rates in the world, Morgan's could at least be commended for his bravery. His idea was not well received, with a poll on his own website leaning just 30% in his favour.

"That little ball of fluff you own is a natural born killer," Morgan writes on his website.

However, Dr Yolanda van Heezik, a senior lecturer in Zoology at the University of Ontago, told TVNZ that she believes Morgan is heading in the right direction.

"I support Gareth Morgan in his campaign to raise awareness about the impacts that pet, stray, and feral cats have on our native wildlife," she said today. "The recommendations given by Gareth Morgan are reasonable. Consider using a collar with a bell: our research has shown they reduced catch by 50%."

Van Heezik said that other countries - including Australia - regulate cat ownership and cat movements. "We need to start thinking along the same lines," she added.

In 2011 Western Australia caused controversy when it implemented a Cat Bill requiring owners to sterilise and microchip their cats by six months of age.

Should New Zealand phase out cats if it saves its birds? Tell us below or on https://twitter.com/StylistMagazineTwitter

Words: Anna Pollitt. Images: Rex features

Related

funny.jpg

30 unlikely animal friendships

kaga.jpg

Celebrities and their look-a-like dogs

dogwalk.jpg

Cute pups hit the dogwalk at Collars and Coats Ball

Comments

More

Revealed: the shocking extent of gender inequality in UK film industry

UK films are six times more likely to be directed by a man - and it's not caused by women's lack of interest by Moya Crockett

04 May 2016

Men in their 30s on the advice they wish they'd had aged 20

“Fight the temptation to seem cool and mysterious” by Katharine Busby

04 May 2016

Behold the avocado rose: our latest food obsession

Stylish and delicious – what more could we want? by Harriet Hall

04 May 2016

New study shows your heart beat aligns with your dog's

You and your dog are so in sync your heart rates align when you're together. by Hayley Spencer

04 May 2016

The Stylist wedding blog: navigating guest list politics

A veritable minefield by Natasha Tomalin

04 May 2016

Chocolate and wine makes your gut feel fine, new study reveals

If science says it, who are we to disagree? by Harriet Hall

03 May 2016

What it's like to plan two weddings, from the couples who did it

Double the fun, double the cost by Sarah Biddlecombe

29 Apr 2016

This cat collar translates miaows into English

So we can finally know what felines are thinking by Moya Crockett

29 Apr 2016

The more friends you have, the better you cope with physical pain

Better than morphine apparently by Amy Swales

29 Apr 2016

Londoners unleash fury on the capital’s landlords with #VentYourRent

"Rent: £980. No furniture for a month. No heating." by Harriet Hall

28 Apr 2016