This is the latest development in the war against cats by the authorities in either New Zealand or Australia. Any cat is in the firing line: domestic, stray or feral. There are many great cat owners and lovers in these countries but their elected lawmakers are paranoid about cats.
Auckland city councillors have come up with another cat killing scheme. Any cat caught without a microchip in a nature reserve will be killed to protect native species.
Around Auckland, the country’s largest city of 1.5m, there are five large ecologically sensitive areas. Cats found in these areas will be deemed to be pests and liable to be killed. It won’t matter if the cat is someone’s beloved pet. They’ll all be seen as pests even if they provide companionship to their human caretakers.
The authorities want to protect wildlife. We know this. They keep dreaming up different schemes but they have one common element: kill the cats.
There is no attempt to do something humane such as TNR. Or trap and return the cat to the owner if possible and then make microchipping and confinement mandatary.
They authorities say that cats kill native species such as kiwis. Apparently cats have contributed to the extinction of at least nine species of native bird. I don’t have details. I suspect that this is an exaggeration and I’d like to know how many species have been made near extinct by human activities.
Upset cat owners
Of course cat lovers and owners are up in arms. Anne Batley-Burton, president of the New Zealand Cat Foundation, said, “You would end up with people’s pets getting killed, you would end up with the poor strays being wiped out. These are sentient beings and their lives should not be taken lightly”.
The plan is to take effect in March 2019. The SPCA say there is not enough time to get all the cats microchipped. Furthermore microchipping is not obligatory under the existing law.