Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Cat Free – Never!






Cat Free – Never !

Bob Kerridge responds to Gareth Morgan


Cats have been persecuted for Centuries by Popes (the work of the devil), Royalty (burned in sacks as a crowning sacrifice), and by the occasional zealots (think London and the great plague). This possibly explains the reason cats find it difficult to totally trust humans … and who can blame them ?

Fortunately in New Zealand cats have not been subjected to such serious oppression, in fact the contrary applies, for they are the country’s most popular companion animal. They reside in 806,000 homes, representing 48% of households, with a domestic population of 1.419 million. 83 % of those who live with cats consider them to be a member of the family, whilst a further 10% view them as trusted companions. In essence cats epitomise that strong loving bond we are privileged to be able to share with all animals.

Until now ! Enter Gareth Morgan, a modern day zealot, and self-proclaimed saviour of the feathered with an absolute loathing of the warm and furry.

The highly tempestuous language used to support his view that all cats must go, (although he now denies having said that), illustrates the degree of savagery aimed at cats who he describes as “the only true sadists of the animal world, serial killers who torture without mercy”.

Curiously Mr Morgan has elected to vent his fury on the domestic (companion) cat. who do not quite fit his description. This is supported by scientific evidence. Research tells us that fewer than 50% of domestic cats bother to hunt at all, the remainder preferring vermin, invertebrates, the seasonal cicadas and lizards, with birds well down their food chain, (with native birds representing less than 1% of their total kill).

Of greater significance this misguided missile aimed at cat owners, most of them responsible, is so aggressive that it is likely to gain enemies rather than converts, and therefore is most unlikely to achieve whatever it is he thinks he wants.

An even greater danger to emerge from this doctrine of cat hatred is the likely emergence of some extremists, some of whom already exist, who will take great delight in abusing and injuring cats because their hatred of them has been even more aroused. In this regard Gareth Morgan can be held totally accountable.

Characteristically, those who oppose Mr Morgan’s views are also subjected to verbal abuse, including (not surprisingly) the SPCA and me personally. Apparently we have no interest in birds, which is strange considering our SPCA BirdWing group of volunteers who care for them in their thousands, or the fact that my planting at home is designed to attract bird life to ensure we see in the dawn to the early morning bird calls, and the constant day time trill of the visiting Tui. Surrounded by all this bird life our two ‘serial killers’ have presented us with one sparrow and one fledgling thrush over the last three years.

Due to my own animal welfare principles I fully concur with Dr Brian Edwards’ contribution to this debate who “feels sorry when any living creature is killed. I don’t make the distinction between a ‘good’ and ‘bad’ species in the animal world”, he has stated. That he accused Gareth Morgan of ‘animal racism’ is appropriate, however predictably earned him an acidic retort.

The fact that stray cats have not been targeted by Mr Morgan comes as a surprise, (maybe that’s round two). Sadly our domestic cats are very disposable, and stray cats are the result of these irresponsible people who discard their ‘entire’ cats to fend for themselves. The existence of these strays is not the cats’ fault and accordingly we take responsibility for their welfare by de-sexing them, identifying them, and returning them to their colonies where they are fed and cared for. There is a veritable army of wonderful volunteer cat carers who will rise in revolt, supported by the SPCA, should they become another Morgan target.

Then there is the third category of cat, namely the ‘feral’ (not to be confused with the stray) who live, unseen, in bush-clad areas and who are not dependent on humans for their food. If he is really serious about protecting native birds, this surely is the sector on which Gareth Morgan should be focussing, for research indicates that for sheer survival these cats predate more profusely.

There is however a conundrum here in that if these cats are removed from those remote areas, rodents and other more fearsome predators will gain free reign, and greater bird carnage will occur as a result. This is not a dilemma I need to solve as the feral is a declared ‘pest’, so its up to the conservationists (and perhaps eccentric economists), or nature itself (which I prefer), to resolve.


So where to from here Gareth Morgan ? You have announced stage two of your assault will be launched next month and will, as you put it, “wind up the anti’, whatever that means. If so, bring it on, but perhaps you would be wise to rethink your tactics and join with us to bring about a positive solution by encouraging responsible cat ownership.

Why not put your money where you busy mouth is and support us by assisting with the funding of de-sexing and micro-chipping of every domestic cat in the country. That will make a positive difference, and will free up SPCA funding to add to our bird rescue activities !

If you don’t want to do that, and you continue on your ridiculous resolve to be rid of all cats, I can only repeat what I have already said : “Butt out of our lives, and don’t deprive us of the beautiful relationship that a cat can provide, individually, and in our families”.

Bob Kerridge is :
Executive Director, SPCA Auckland
National President, Royal New Zealand SPCA

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

More Evidence - Scoop Press Conference Recordings:
PM's Post-Cab Presser 8/8/11
"at that point [Tucker] told me he'd release it ..."

Hager Revelations: Inquiry Into NZSIS Release Of Goff Docs

The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security (IGIS), Cheryl Gwyn, announced today that she would be instituting an inquiry concerning allegations that the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service (NZSIS) might have released official information to Mr Cameron Slater, regarding briefings provided to the then Leader of the Opposition, for political purposes...

“I am satisfied there is a sufficient public interest justifying the commencement of an own-motion inquiry into the substance of the issues raised with my Office,” said Ms Gwyn. More>>

Goff: Director’s Letter Contradicts Key’s Claims

At yesterday’s media standup, when asked on the topic John Key said ‘I wasn’t told’...
“In a letter dated November 2011 former SIS director Warren Tucker states three times that ‘in accordance with the usual practice of keeping the minister informed’ the Prime Minister had been told. More>>


 

Parliament Today:

Schools, PPTA Sign Up: Primary Teachers And Principals Vote Down Govt Plan

Teachers and principals have voted overwhelmingly against the Government’s controversial “Investing in Educational Success” policy, including proposed highly-paid principal and teacher roles. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Usual Round Of Mud Slinging And Name-Calling

This week gave an interesting example of how hard it is to untangle the reality from the slanging matches. The issue that emerged early this week could hardly be more important. Does the government intend to cut spending in health, education and on the environment if re-elected, or not? More>>

Earlier:

Electionresults.co.nz: National and NZ First Rise in Roy Morgan Poll

National has bounced back in the latest Roy Morgan Poll but the big winner has been New Zealand First who rise to their highest level of support since September 2013. More>>

ALSO:

Fish Pun Warning: By Hoki! It’s Labour’s Fisheries Policy

A Labour Government will protect the iconic Kiwi tradition of fishing by improving access to the coast, protecting the rights of recreational fishers and reviewing snapper restrictions, Labour’s Fisheries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. More>>

ALSO:

It's Official: Governor General Gives Direction To Conduct Election

The Governor General has signed the writ directing the Electoral Commission to conduct the General Election on 20 September 2014. This is the formal authority to run the 2014 election, and enables candidate nominations to open tomorrow Thursday 21 August 2014. More>>

Gordon Campbell: No More Mr Nice Guy

When future historians seek to identify the exact moment when the prime ministerial career of John Key hit the downward slope, they may well point to Key’s interview yesterday with Guyon Espiner on RNZ’s Morning Report. More>>

ALSO:

Dirty (Politics) Weekend: Collins’ Admission Reason For Key To Act

"Despite claiming that the evidence about her in Nicky Hager's book was ‘false’ Judith Collins has now been forced to admit that she did send information about a Ministerial Services staff member to Cameron Slater for him to use in a baseless smear campaign. More>>

ALSO:

Potential Disasters: Underground Coal Fire On Denniston Plateau

Forest & Bird says one or more coal fires have broken out beneath the Denniston Plateau, and that the Department of Conservation (DOC) must stop Bathurst Resources’ preparatory mining work going on there until the fire or fires are extinguished. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news