GARETH MORGAN has called for cats to be eradicated from New Zealand to ensure the survival of native birds.
The philanthropic economist has set up a website – Cats to Go – which says: “The fact is that your furry friend is actually a friendly neighbourhood serial killer.”
It claims cats had contributed to the extinction of nine native bird species and impacted on 33 endangered native bird species, and says that killing cats is not necessary, but an option.
“We appreciate the fact that you have an emotional connection with your pet and that pet ownership is a rewarding experience.
“But there’s a real problem with cats – they kill for pleasure, and most of that killing is out of your sight so probably out of your mind.
“If you think New Zealand’s native species are precious and should be fostered then it’s important you be a responsible cat owner.
“That means keep them inside 24 hours a day and if that’s impractical then when the time comes ensure this is the last cat you ever own.”
Morgan has other suggestions to reduce the impact of cats on bird populations.
“I am advocating responsible pet ownership, not for people to bop their pets on the head. To me a responsible pet owner has their cat neutered, keeps it well fed and indoors as much as possible, and puts a bell on them. Then when their cat dies I think people should consider not replacing it”.
He said cats should be micro-chipped, registered and neutered, and advocated setting up live capture traps.