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

 


Support for Morgan’s Cat Campaign Just Keeps Growing

Support for Morgan’s Cat Campaign Just Keeps Growing

My cat campaign may have got some people’s backs up, but it is attracting a growing level of support. Meanwhile the beleaguered SPCA, in the gun for its policy of supporting stray cats that wander and slaughter, is facing a revolution from within its own ranks.

When I first spoke out, many asked me if I had lost it completely. Since then many of New Zealand’s top experts have come out in support of the fact that wandering cats pose a serious threat to our wildlife and need management. Most notable supporters include Dame Ann Salmond, (New Zealander of the Year) and Professor Charles Daugherty ONZM, (Professor of Ecology at Victoria University of Wellington and a Trustee of Wellington’s Zealandia). Experts from the following organisations have also agreed we have a problem and that cats need to be managed:

1. The Department of Conservation
2. School of Biological Sciences, Victoria University
3. Forest and Bird
4. Landcare New Zealand
5. The Veterinarians of Massey University’s Wildbase Hospital
6. Biodiversity teams in the Auckland Council, and Wellington and Southland Regional Councils
7. Auckland University, School of Biological Sciences
8. Department of Zoology, Otago University
9. Department of Natural Sciences, Unitec Institute of Technology
10. Zealandia
11. Companion Animal Society of New Zealand Veterinary Association

The majority of Kiwis now seem to agree. When faced with information about the damage caused by cats, only 20% of Kiwis maintain that we shouldn’t reduce the cat population. This is the same vocal minority that have howled throughout the campaign at anyone who dares question the sacrosanct moggie. But the fact is that the majority of cat owners are reasonable people and most people agree with sensible measures like compulsory chipping, registering and neutering cats, which would allow us to take care of the stray cat problem. There is also broad support for banning cats around sensitive wildlife areas – a result that was confirmed by a public meeting we held in Karori. These changes would be a massive leap forward in cat management in New Zealand, and I see that result as a huge win for my campaign.

While most people agree we need fewer cats, the tough bit is deciding how. This is where some of my suggestions have been more controversial. Ridding our cities of stray cats again seems a popular start, but ideas like confining your cat (indoors or in an enclosure as is popular in Australia) or not replacing your cat when it dies have met with more limited support. That is not surprising, most new ideas take time for people to get used to. Most non-cat owners seem to want the right to keep cats off their property, but haven’t tied that idea to cat owners actually taking responsibility for their pets. However it should not be such an alien idea – we already manage dogs the same way. Indoor cats are now the norm in many countries overseas. While many Kiwis view this as cruel for the cat, keeping a cat inside from when it is very young has been shown to improve their health overall as they avoid accidents and fights.

In contrast the SPCA is struggling to find any credible support for its championing of the rights of wandering cats. In their advocacy and practice of trap, neuter and return of stray cats Bob Kerridge and the Directors of Wellington SPCA, arguably New Zealand’s worst, are increasingly being isolated. They arrogantly ignore the science and put cat rights above those of all other native wildlife. Even their fellow cat lovers have come out against this policy, which not only condemns our native wildlife to slaughter but also leaves the cats living dangerous and diseased lives. Examples of the schism appearing include:

• The entire Australian SPCA movement
• Waikato SPCA
• Nelson SPCA
• Lonely Miaow cat charity in Auckland

In the past politicians have been scared off by the sheer size of the cat-owning fraternity (47% of households own cats). But the good news is that the majority of cat owners are responsible, and once made aware of the damage wandering cats do, have no issue with managing the problem. Of course any social issue of this type always attracts an ignorant rump of self-centred objectors, but as our public meeting in Karori showed these are a loud but small, entrenched minority.

This presents a significant opportunity for local or national politicians with an environmental conscience, if they can discover their courage. Cats need to be managed just as dogs are; the only reason they are not is because dogs hurt humans and cattle whereas cats ‘merely’ pose a threat to our native wildlife. The majority of people want local councils to take cat control out of the ‘too hard’ basket and start to manage the damage by stopping cats wandering. Australia is miles ahead of us on cat control. New Zealand needs politicians with courage to take on the rabid cats’-rights lobby and protect the rights of the silent majority and New Zealand’s natural heritage.

Meanwhile I’d appreciate as many organisations coming out and publicly supporting me as we try to get the SPCA to pull its head in and local councils to get their City Pounds to start managing the wandering cat problem.

The sources for all the above are listed on http://garethsworld.com/catstogo/support-for-morgans-cat-campaign-just-keeps-growing/

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell:
On The Northland By-Election

Supposedly, Winston Peters’ victory in Northland has exposed the simmering dissatisfaction with the government that exists out in the provinces. Yet it remains to be seen whether this defeat will have much significance – and not simply because if and when Labour resumes business as usual in the Northland seat at the next election, Peters’ hold on it could simply evaporate.

On Saturday, National’s electorate vote declined by 7,000 votes, as the 9,000 majority it won last September turned into a 4,000 vote deficit – mainly because Labour supporters followed the nod and wink given by Labour leader Andrew Little, and voted tactically for Peters. In the process, Labour’s vote went down from nearly 9,000 votes six months ago, to only 1,315 on Saturday. More>>

 
 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

Climate: Ministers Exclude Emissions From ‘Environment Reporting'

The National Party Government has today revealed that the national environmental report topics for this year will, incredibly, exclude New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions, the Green Party said today. More>>

ALSO:

No Retrial: Freedom At Last For Teina Pora

The Māori Party is relieved that the Privy Council has cleared the final legal hurdle for Teina Pora who was wrongfully convicted of murder and sent to prison for 22 years. More>>

ALSO:

Germanwings Crash: Privacy Act Supports Aviation Safeguards In New Zealand

Reports that German privacy laws may have contributed to the Germanwings air crash have prompted New Zealand’s Privacy Commissioner to reassure the public that the Privacy Act is no impediment to medical practitioners notifying appropriate authorities to a pilot’s health concerns. More>>

ALSO:

Treaty: Taranaki Iwi Ngāruahine Settles Treaty Claims For $67.5mln

The settlement includes a $13.5 million payment the government made in June 2013, as well as land in the Taranaki region. The settlement also includes four culturally significant sites, the Waipakari Reserve, Te Kohinga Reserve, Te Ngutu o te Manu and Te Poho o Taranaki. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On A Funeral In Asia, The Northland By-Election, And News Priorities

Supposedly, New Zealand’s destiny lies in Asia, and that was one of Foreign Minister Murray McCully’s rationales for his bungled reforms at MFAT. OK. So, if that’s the case why didn’t Prime Minister John Key attend the state funeral on Sunday of Singapore’s founding leader Lee Kuan Yew? More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf Satire: Not Flag-Waving; Flag-Drowning

The panel choosing the flag options has no visual artists at all. Now, I’ve kerned the odd ligature in my time and I know my recto from my French curve so I thought I’d offer a few suggestions before they get past their depth. More>>

ALSO:

IPCA Reports: Significant Problems In Police Custody

In releasing two reports today, the Independent Police Conduct Authority has highlighted a number of significant problems with the way in which Police deal with people who are detained in Police cells. More>>

ALSO:

Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security: Inquiry Into GCSB Pacific Allegations

The complaints follow recent public allegations about GCSB activities. The complaints, and these public allegations, raise wider questions regarding the collection, retention and sharing of communications data. More>>

ALSO:

TPPA Investment Leak: "NZ Surrender To US" On Corporates Suing Governments

Professor Jane Kelsey: ‘As anticipated, the deal gives foreign investors from the TPPA countries special rights, and the power to sue the government in private offshore tribunals for massive damages if new laws, or even court decisions, significantly affected their bottom line’. More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf: The Myth Of Steven Joyce

Gordon Campbell: The myth of competence that’s been woven around Steven Joyce – the Key government’s “Minister of Everything” and “Mr Fixit” – has been disseminated from high-rises to hamlets, across the country... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news