A small village in New Zealand proposed banning cats entirely in order to protect wildlife (link). The idea appears to have captured the imagination of some people in a country of animal lovers: England.
I think it is quite significant because never before has it be proposed that pet cats should be entirely banned. It is an extension of the ‘war’ on domestic and feral cats by people who dislike cats and ornithologists, and also people who see wildlife, especially birds, endangered by cat predation.
I can fully understand their concern but a complete ban is not going to take off (excuse the pun).
Journalist Sally Jones appeared on ‘This Morning’ an ITV breakfast television show and said that birds ‘found cats evil’ and that humans could do something about it by asking if it is time to ban cats. If she said that she’s partly wrong. Birds don’t find cats evil but people can doing something about it.
It is unimaginable that a government would ban domestic cats nationwide. It would not happen because there are too many people among the voting public who would reject the idea out of hand. To suggest it would be political suicide.
The internet has changed the debate on domestic cat ownership. There is no longer a blind presumption that domestic cats should be adopted, fed and let out, free to roam at will. Calls to protect wildlife are growing, fuelled by social media.
There is no doubt in my mind that the British should be more open to confining their cats. There is this ‘failure’ in cat ownership and in the domestication of the cat. It is a human problem.
As humans gradually destroy wildlife (the 6th mass extinction is underway) though massive population growth and commercial activity it puts ever more pressure on cat owners to do their bit and prevent their cats killing birds and other wild species.
Humans will not tackle their profligate behaviour. They prefer to pass the buck to domestic cats.