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Gareth Morgan offers SPCA $5 per euthanised cat

Gareth Morgan offers SPCA $5 per euthanised cat

In response to a challenge from the SPCA to help fund the prevention of cruelty to animals, Gareth Morgan has offered a Bounty of $5 per free-ranging, homeless cat euthanised at an authorised facility. The Bounty would be payable to the SPCA but is conditional on the SPCA declaring it will not release one more cat into a free ranging, non-confined environment.

Under their ‘Saving Lives’ policy, some SPCAs are releasing cats into the environment. They no longer euthanise any cat that they can’t find a home for; instead they trap, neuter and return stray cats to where they were found. Gareth Morgan has also called for people to stop donating to the SPCA until they end this policy.

“This has to stop –if the SPCA bothered to work out the mathematics of cat reproduction they would find they have to neuter between 71-94% of all free-ranging cats in order to stop these colonies growing. Meanwhile the cats are still killing our most valuable national asset, our native fauna. SPCA have asked me for a donation for their operation, I will fund them if they all stop releasing cats they can’t find a home for and euthanise them instead,” Morgan said. “SPCA is nothing more than the Society for Protecting Cats. They care nothing for our native animals, nor for the cruelty inflicted on them by the pests they are introducing into our environment. Bob Kerridge has said that this is somehow natural, I find his perspective decidedly sick. There is nothing natural about what his people are doing, they are environmental bandits”.

The “Free Range Cat Bounty Regime” is aimed at ending the wandering of domestic cats on to other people’s properties, as well as the disposal of colonies of free ranging cats (sometimes known as strays, other times known as ferals). Under the Free Range Cat Bounty regime, all cats turned in to authorised disposal facilities would first be tested for microchips to determine ownership. Owned cats would be returned to their place of residence, ideally with a fine for the owner.

“Why am I doing it? Ultimately I want to reduce the population of stray and feral cats and incentivise cat owners to take responsibility for their cats.” Morgan said.

The Cats to Go campaign has sparked a lot of debate, here and overseas. 70,000 people have visited the site. It has been reported in the top media outlets around the world. The Cats to Go message has also been supported by a study that came out yesterday in the world’s top science magazine: Nature. Cats kill between 1.4 and 3.7 billion birds in the States, more than four times previous estimates and are the top threat to US wildlife That research also reiterated that neutering cats and releasing them into roaming colonies does not reduce numbers of free ranging cats at all.

“Not everyone likes the message, but at least we are talking about managing the impact of cats on our native wildlife. I’ve actually been amazed how many people are right behind us because it’s pretty controversial stuff. For example, 40% do not want cats coming on to their properties, and 80% want the SPCA to stop releasing cats into free range colonies. The eyes of the world are on us, this is an opportunity for New Zealand to show some leadership.” Morgan added.

For more information visit www.catstogo.org.nz


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