New Zealand village wants to ban cats

Wellington - For countless animal lovers they’re trusted companions, but for conservationists in New Zealand cats are pests that threaten the survival of many endemic species and one small town now plans to ban them outright.

 A new proposal released by the local government of Omaui on the southern end of the country’s South Island this week calls for all cats to be neutered, microchipped and registered with the council. No cat would be replaced once it died.
Omaui Landcare Charitable Trust chairman John Collins, a proponent of the ban, told the Otago Daily Times the village was a "high-value conservation area" and removing cats from the area would enable native animals to thrive.
"We're not cat haters, but we want our environment to be wildlife-rich," he added.
Wildlife was disappearing rapidly around the country and native birds had been "ripped to pieces" by cats on his front lawn, he said.
Cats, which were introduced by European immigrants, have long fallen out of favour with many New Zealand environmentalists as they are highly efficient predators and are known to kill all kinds of native wildlife, including birds, lizards and insects.
The country’s Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage recently suggested residents of the capital Wellington should stop having cats in order to reintroduce the country’s most iconic bird, the kiwi to urban areas.
"I think gradually we'll see people recognize that having wildlife thrive will mean having cats inside - and when your cat dies, then potentially not replacing it," she said
Omaui’s cat lovers have advised that they "actively petition" against any plan to get rid of their beloved cats.


Thursday, August 30th 2018

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