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Dumped cats highlight Council’s concern

News release
3 April 2006

Dumped cats highlight Council’s concern

A recent control operation on a large cat colony in Crofton Downs highlights Greater Wellington Regional Council’s concern about the impact of dumping unwanted cats.

The operation was carried out jointly by Greater Wellington Regional Council and the Department of Conservation, with support from the SPCA, Cats Protection League, Forest and Bird Society and Wellington City Council.

The area where the cats were dumped is behind Otari-Wilton's Bush, one of Wellington's pre-eminent scenic reserves dedicated to the protection and preservation of native plants, and recognised as a Garden of National Significance.

Greater Wellington biosecurity officer Fiona Bancroft says “The cats were abandoned or born to strays. They posed a serious threat to our native wildlife and a health risk to humans and pet cats as they can carry disease. Dumping cats is a serious animal welfare issue and an inhumane way of dealing with them.”

Greater Wellington is urging people not to dump unwanted cats or to encourage or feed stray or feral (wild) cats as this maintains high populations.

Athol Swann, Chairman of the Otari-Wilton Bush Trust is "concerned that neighbours in the land adjacent to, and within, Otari-Wilton’s Bush reserve understand that feeding these cats is likely to result in a reduction of the bird, reptile and invertebrate population which is vital to the regeneration of native flora. We must protect the area from pest animals as well as pest plants.”

Fiona Bancroft encourages people to “think carefully before getting a cat. Consider its needs and be sure that you can commit to caring for it throughout its life. This could be 15 years or more.”

“If you already have a cat make sure you have it desexed at a young age to minimise the hundreds of unwanted kittens born each year. If you find yourself in a position where you can no longer look after your cat contact the SPCA, your local vet, or council for advice.”

Each year Greater Wellington provides financial support to cat desexing programmes run by the SPCA and local vets.

For more information contact Greater Wellington’s Biosecurity department on 06 378 2484 or 04 526 4133. Useful information is also available on the Forest and Bird Society and SPCA websites:




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