ShareThis Page
World

New Zealand village proposes banning all cats

Chris Pastrick
| Thursday, Aug. 30, 2018, 7:00 a.m.
The Southland Regional Council in New Zealand has proposed banning all domestic cats in the community of Omaui.
The Southland Regional Council in New Zealand has proposed banning all domestic cats in the community of Omaui.

A new conservation plan in a small New Zealand town is for the birds. Literally.

The Southland Regional Council, which governs the southern end of New Zealand, has proposed banning all domestic cats in the community of Omaui, the Otago Daily Times reports . The move is an attempt to preserve the country’s native bird population, including the flightless Kiwi.

Ali Meade, the council’s biosecurity operations manager, said the plan calls for all cats in the region to be neutered, microchipped and registered. Then, when a cat dies, the owner would not be permitted to get another one.

Residents that don’t follow the plan will be sent notifications. If they still don’t respond, the council would remove the cat, charging the owner for the process.

“There’s cats getting into the native bush; they’re preying on native birds, they’re taking insects, they’re taking reptiles – all sorts of things. They’re doing quite a bit of damage,” Meade told Newshub.

It’s all part of New Zealand’s radical pest extermination plan it began in 2016, in an effort to make the country predator free by 2050.

One of the cat-free proposal’s champions, Omaui Landcare Charitable Trust chairman John Collins, says the small town is a “high-value conservation area” and not a place for cats.

”We’re not cat haters, but we want our environment to be wildlife-rich,” he told the Times. “Native wildlife is disappearing rapidly around the country and places like this, where people still live and enjoy and hear the birdsong, are probably few and far between.”

But the proposal isn’t without opposition.

“It’s like a police state,” resident Nico Jarvis told the Times. “It’s not even regulating people’s ability to have a cat. It’s saying you can’t have a cat.”

Not only are cats an emotional comfort, but Jarvis said they provide a way to combat the “intense” rodent problem.

”If I cannot have a cat, it almost becomes unhealthy for me to live in my house,” she said.

Jarvis and others told the Times they will actively protest the plan.

“The community here do understand the conservational side of things, absolutely, but I think long-term, the ramifications of this are not something that even non-cat-owners will be comfortable with,” Jarvis said.

Residents have until Oct. 23 to submit their objections.

Chris Pastrick is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Chris at 724-226-4697, cpastrick@tribweb.com or via Twitter @CPastrickTrib.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me