The story concerns the area of Southland in New Zealand. This is an area at the southernmost tip of the southern island of New Zealand. I recently wrote about the councilors in that area discussing whether they should ban all cats entirely in order to preserve wildlife.
Anger against outside cats
This story also supports what outsiders would probably agree is a hostile attitude by NZ citizens towards outside domestic and feral cats in that area. It is part of what is now a well-established phenomenon demonstrating an anger about feral cat predation on native species in both New Zealand and Australia.
Buried 170 cats under vegetables
This Southland man, Ian Gamble, boasts that he has buried 170 cats in his vegetable patch. He claims that he has killed the cats using a particularly nasty trap which breaks the cat’s neck when he/she puts his head inside the trap to sniff at bait. He claims that it is 100% successful.
He has never used firearms to kill cats because it’s illegal. It appears that it’s not illegal for an individual to kill cats per se which seems strange to me especially when you kill them in this inhumane and what must be painful manner.
Distinguishing which cat to trap and kill?
It is also strange that Gamble has shown a disregard as to whether he has killed someone’s beloved cat companion. How does he distinguish between feral and owned cat before the cat is trapped and killed immediately?
Justifies killing cats because they are ill
He says that when he moved to the area 30 years ago there weren’t any neighbors in the area but there were cats everywhere in the bush. These were feral cats who, of course, become injured and suffer diseases often to the upper respiratory tract and the eyes. Very commonly we see secondary bacterial infections destroying the eyes of feral cats making them blind. He seems to justify killing them because they are ill.
Facebook post a confession
Anyway, Mr Gamble is all in favour of banning cats in the area and in the meantime it appears that he has taken the law into his own hands and done away with the cats without regard to any criminal concerns. He made a post on Facebook which you can see above. This seems to be evidence of a confession of criminal behavior and as far as I’m aware the Invercargill branch of the SPCA know about this and are investigating.
The authorities in the area who are concerned with pest control management regard feral cats as “suppression animals” on the mainland and an “exclusion animal” on offshore and inland islands. I’m not sure what these terms mean.