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Cat Fight Looming? - by 'Lets'

Will the new Council and Board members be forced to confront the controversial issue of the management of cats?

This seems highly likely after the National Cat Management Strategy Group's final document proposes curfews, restrictions on the number of cats allowed to be kept on a property, and nationwide mandatory microchipping  of cats.

The Wellington City Council has led the way with a new bylaw requiring the mandatory micro-chipping of cats. But if the Group's recommendations are adopted by central government, then many new powers will be given to local authorities to control cats in their district.

Wellington has been the fortunate recipient of a bequest which has enabled the local SPCA and the Council to heavily subsidize a short-term program of micro-chipping and desexing of cats.

Of course there will be some who see any such restrictions as a cat-astrophe ! Maybe they should check out this excellent infographic on how your favourite little furry moggy is in fact a killing machine of native birds and other wildlife.

Others such as Professor Brett Gartrell, who is the co-director of New Zealand's only dedicated wildlife hospital, Wildbase at Massey University, says the Groups' strategy won't reduce the impact of cats because it fails to deal with the vexed question of feral cats and the SPCA's policy of "snip and release".

Personally, although I am an avid cat lover, I'm with Prof Gartrell.  Cats are an introduced species, and not Gods to be worshipped as the Egyptians did. The new bylaws will only be effective if it mandates a comprehensive program to trap and kill feral cats and requires the SPCA to end its half-baked policy of desexing un-owned cats and releasing them to continue their killing spree of our native species.




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Reader Comments (5)

Ah, the beauty of secrecy, so who is 'Lets'...come on give us your name..after all Bill, wasn't the last article you wrote making a big point about openness as opposed to secrecy. I was excited, "Bill is getting help" but then we get secrecy...and that nasty little literary style, hyperbole, the freedom to exaggerate, the secrecy to avoid responsibility. For example, Cats are an introduced species, and not Gods to be worshipped as the Egyptians did How often in this era must we step over another pile of cognitive dissonance. How about this truth, pets, like cats and dogs, although not humans, are friends and family members, but for the heartless extremist they are pests, owned by pests, to be slowly strangled by bylaws and fines, like a 21st century musket aimed to colonise the mind and force the public off the commons, shot by shot, destined for extinction, like other pets now out of fashion. And I was really excited, an environmentalist, well if you are serious, how about starting with possums and rats rather than giving Nana the big slapdown. Be brave, face the public, give us your name...I have :-)

October 7, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterChris Twemlow

Harsh words Chris - this is a private blog - Council is a public institution. If I choose to allow a contributor on board under a non-de-plume - that is my choice.It is a perfectly common practice, and I have no problem with it. As time goes on, I am sure that there will be views expressed with which I totally disagree, but on this occasion, I happen to agree with everything 'Lets' has said about our feline friends. We live in a bird-free, cat friendly part of town - Tararu, and we happen to like birds, particularly of the native variety. The creeping little monsters terrorize the entire fauna of the area - never mind the possums and rats of which I am sure there are plenty. We can do something simple to rid ourselves of the wild, and out of control domestic moggies that plague the neighborhood. I deal to possums and rats on a regular basis, but the moggies are too smart for me. And the new corporate SPCA doesn't wish to know about them. When it comes to cats, I am in the Gareth Morgan 'lock em up at night' camp!
In the meantime, you are welcome to enter into the guessing game, but I could not possibly confirm or deny - my lips are sealed!

October 7, 2016 | Registered CommenterBill Barclay

Heaps of diversion and attacking the messenger but nothing from Chris about the actual issue - How will Council deal with new powers to control cats which are killing our native birds and other wildlife at an alarming rate?

As for "heartless extremists" count me among the 38% of New Zealanders surveyed who would make my current cat my last to save native wildlife and the 80% who oppose the SPCA policy of snip and release for strays

Why not microchipping, (we do it for dogs) curfews (it works in Australia) and restrictions on numbers ? Does anyone household really need to own more than 3 cats ? Do you support the current snip and release policy of SPCA for strays? Why?

Why control just rats and possums but ignore cats who kill 60-70 critters a year?

October 7, 2016 | Unregistered Commenterlets

Hi Lets. Are you a person or an Algo? It doesnt matter either way, you are both 100% correct, if Bill wants to publish sanctimonious environmental blog posts under a pseudonym, good on him and good on you for finding a safe way to spray your ideas around, but this is not Stalinist Russia, so I hope in the future you become brave enough in this democracy to attack in the open, because Lets, as you are pseudonym, my strident response is not aimed at you, as you cease to exist, all that there is are the words. Topic = cats - the response = stick to the issue, I did, I implied that more bylaws are not my preferred approach and that cats are famiily members and should be treated as such. Did you know we live in an age where there has never been so many laws in order to modify our behaviour. I am making the assumption that Bill / Lets feel more laws are the only way to control the stupid citizenry and in this instance their evil bird destroying cats. My response is, rescue DOC before it is too late, while you incrementally push for microchipping (a feral cat doesnt care either way) DOC is being starved at the source and the real predator problem is completely out of hand. You worry about your local cats killing birds, and Bill implies there are no birds in his backyard (hyperbole) but if I was to put my money where my mouth is I will be lobbying TCDC to find the funds to support DOC & MEG and all the other hard working environmental groups on the Coro to save our forests first. But here is a close context suggestion, voluntary microchipping if you're so inclined and lobby SPCA to put down all feral/unwanted cats. Finally Lets, please don't throw a tantrum when playing tennis if someone delivers a wicked backhand, rather be encouraged anyone wants to play at all. Learn to read the delivery carefully with an open mind, learn how to avoid the sloppiness of cognitive dissonance and do your best to return a delivery that acknowledges the content of the comment rather than firing back the same facts/shot otherwise it reads like propaganda.

October 8, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterChris Twemlow

Okay - enough! - I am shutting down this topic right now - all that needs to be said has been said, and your last comment Chris slips into unnecessary invective. We are all in either one of the two camps on this emotion ridden subject, as suggested in 'Lets' title, and continuing in this vein changes no minds - it simply causes grief. It seems to me that there are some basic measures that we could all be lobbying Council to adopt - let's leave it at that.

October 8, 2016 | Registered CommenterBill Barclay

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