Categories: Killing feral cats

Pest controller shoots cats in residential area in New Zealand

Somebody, we don’t know who, has employed a pest controller to go around a residential area in New Zealand to shoot cats. It is presumed that he is employed to shoot feral cats but of course he can’t be sure that he is shooting at a feral cat or a domestic cat which is why the residents are very concerned. The local police and authority have distanced themselves from this activity. They did not employ the pest controller and don’t know who did.

Clyde St in Tokoroa where some shooting took place. Photo: LUKE KIRKEBY/STUFF

There are no laws governing the shooting of feral cats in New Zealand and therefore what is happening is not illegal. The only problem is that the residents are worried that their cats are going to be shot at but the local authority do not share their concern.

This unusual activity is happening in Tokoroa, South Waikato District, New Zealand. It has been described as “controlled cat culling”. It’s a built-up area. In fact it appears to be a typical residential area such as you might find in any country. In one part of it there is a primary school and a kindergarten which appears not to have been a problem to the authorities.

A senior police officer confirmed that a professional pest controller had been shooting cats with an air rifle “design for pest control purposes”.

It’s concerning that nobody knows who is involved. In addition to the police and the local authority, local shopkeepers and the SPCA have also denied being involved.

The pest controller had notified the police of his activities and the police say that is up to the pest controller to ensure that he complies with the local law in respect of safety.

One resident cat owner, Dean Jones, said that if his cat had been mistakenly shot he would have shot at the person in retaliation.

“I thought discharging a firearm in this sort of area would be illegal. It is not cool and I would have shot them if they had shot my pet.”

Dean Jones

Another resident said it is normal to have cats in the area implying that they should be accepted.

There is talk that an elderly couple reported the cats which led to the cull being organised. This implies that they reported the matter to the local authority but perhaps it is them who employed the professional culler.

A spokesperson for the Community Animal Rescue and Education organisation said that it is impossible to tell the difference between owned cats and cats who do not have an owner. That is the point that I have continually made about killing feral cats. You can’t go around shooting them anywhere never mind residential areas.

Both New Zealand and Australia have what many people would regard as unacceptable attitudes towards exterminating feral cats which are regarded as pests. I find that distasteful personally. The people of these two countries put the cats there. It is their responsibility to deal with them humanely.

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Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 71-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I have a girlfriend, Michelle. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare.

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