New Zealand in Uproar Over Quest to Eradicate Cats
Gareth Morgan dreams of a country where birds can flourish
By Kate Seamons, Newser Staff
Posted Jan 22, 2013 11:27 AM CST
Updated Jan 26, 2013 7:29 AM CST
Cats, begone?   (?)

(Newser) – Gareth Morgan is not a cat lover—and a great many New Zealanders apparently aren't a Gareth-Morgan lover. The AP reports on the environmentalist's quest to make the country a haven for native birds by getting rid of cats, and the outrage that has quickly followed. Morgan has launched an anti-feline campaign, dubbed Cats To Go, that asks New Zealanders to neuter their current cat and not replace it when it heads to that big litterbox in the sky. (Though he notes that euthanasia "is an option.")

The fact that his site bears an image of a kitten with devil's horns and refers to the feline as "a natural born killer" probably isn't helping his quest, made all the harder because New Zealand really loves its cats. Nearly one in two households own one, giving it one of the highest ownership rates in the world (it's more like one in three in the US). But as the AP explains, pre-cats, New Zealand's native birds enjoyed predator-free living, to the point where the Kiwi evolved to be flightless. One scientist says cats have contributed to the extinction of at least half a dozen local bird species. But others argue that cats may actually help native birds by reducing the population of rodents, which sometimes feed on bird eggs.

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Showing 3 of 80 comments
iq145
Feb 8, 2013 10:07 PM CST
Oh my goodness! Destroy these horrible monsters! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qs3HBZC-AY8 i'm so terrified...
butch70
Jan 27, 2013 10:00 AM CST
I'am a animal lover. So I say let the cat owners take care of them.
jtm45
Jan 27, 2013 5:24 AM CST
are there squirrels on NZ? in NY USA we have like 3-5 to a yard and we can not remove (need special license) or shoot (need huntng license and can not shoot in residential neighborhood even with a BB gun), my neighbors got caught removing with hav-a-heart traps,they got near 90 before they got snagged by local DEC guy and said next time big fine.are we free? well these little roof rabbits are loaded with fleas and always scratchin them off and my cats and dogs pick them up. anyways let me tell you about squirrels. they are what you call opportunistic eaters,they are voracious eaters. they eat birds eggs,baby birds,adult birds,baby rabbits,even their own young and raid my tomatos,usually they eat 1 or 2 bites and drop them and get my string beans and cukes too.i got a sling shot and they do funny acrobatics when i hit them(i use softair plastic pellets,i would not want to kill one as my demtard neighbors probably blow me in so i upgraded to a softair pistol which is much more accurate and hits harder,they stay out of my yard and neighbors too. i think squirrels spread fleas and tics and cause more havoc than cats,i have 2 cats,the hunter prefers moles and mice and he usually eats them,my other cat caught a bird she did not kill it i took it from her and let go and scolded her and she never bothers them any more but she stays in our yard. anyways. the best thing i have seen twice now is a raptor came swooping in and chased them down like 2 feet off the ground following there every move,boy wish i could turn a airplane like that! and got em. hurray!