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New Zealand Veterinary Association Supports Eradication Of W

New Zealand Veterinary Association Supports Eradication Of Wild, Feral And Stray Cats


“Stray, feral and domesticated cats are a major threat to many endangered species and more work needs to be done by ‘everyone’ to protect biodiversity”, says Dr Catherine Watson speaking on behalf of the New Zealand Veterinary Association (NZVA).

Because of the risks posed by such cats, NZVA supports the eradication of true feral cat populations. Not only will this protect native wildlife, but most feral cats harbour disease and are inadequately fed, so there are significant animal welfare implications for these domestic pets that have gone wild.

A very good example of the problems caused by feral cats is the issue the Department of Conservation (DOC) is facing with its bird life recovery programme in Central Otago. This programme has been set up to protect the highly endangered birdlife.

The main threat to these bird colonies is feral cats according to data collected by DOC.

Cat owners, rural and urban, must also do their bit to support our native species. Some simple measures include cats indoors at night, attaching a collar and bell, ensuring cats are microchipped1 and breeding cats are neutered.

Dr Watson says regular health checks, adequate feeding, and access to fresh water, will go a long way to keeping cats at home and out of trouble.
--

[1] Over 80% of microchipped cats which were found after the Canterbury earthquakes that had microchips were reunited with their owners. However, only 15% of unmicrochipped cats were reunited with their owners.

1 February 2013

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