'Colony cats deserve a life' - Bob Kerridge
Thu, 31 Jan 2013 7:00p.m.
Perched on a scrubby hillside above a rusty rail yard is the Parnell cat colony.
This is one spot the SPCA runs a trap, neuter, release programme.
Stray cats are caught, desexed, and returned to the area.
Volunteers have erected fences, built shelters and provided toys for the many stray cats that live there.
Some of the animals don’t appear to be in the best health, but the volunteers that look after them say the cats are happy and healthy.
“The cats are not released into the wild – they are released into carefully managed colonies […] where they are fed, given shelter and human companionship,” a spokesperson told Campbell Live.
Gareth Morgan claimed this “catch, neuter and release” tactic means there are lots of cats out there catching birds.
But SPCA executive director Bob Kerridge told Campbell Live less than 1 percent of cats’ prey are native birds, and only 50 percent of cats actually hunt.
“Their preferred diet are rats, vermin, coming up shortly cicadas, lizards, and that’s generally what they hunt, and birds are well down the list.”
He recommends people de-sex and microchip their cats.
But he says the SPCA is not going to start euthanizing the colony cats, as per Mr Morgan’s suggestion.
“We’re not in the habit of euthanizing healthy animals, these are healthy animals, they deserve a life.”
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14/02/2013 6:43:07 a.m.
i can't believe the guys defending the slaughter proposal! come on! many species are out there killing; we are not allowed to kill them; yes we must put some restrictions on cat ownership and change the situation slowly. but killing a domestic healthy animal is like killing an innocent child.
5/02/2013 4:22:17 p.m.
I am more concerned that we now have a plague of cats(nearly 1 1/2 million) yet nothing is being said or done by DOC or councils nor Health department and strangely quiet on this one.Cat colonies around the city are not healthy.Is Bob Kerridge still drawing a huge salary or is he just a voluntary spokesperson now he has retired?
4/02/2013 7:31:51 p.m.
Ian Stollery wrote:
I have been associated with Bird Rescue in Auckland for 27 years, I don't speak on their behalf, but I can comment on what I see with their operation and in particular what my wife, who runs the operation from our home, sees.
Yes cats kill birds, usually the sick, the old, the weak and also the healthy. Dogs also kill birds as do children, as do teenagers all in in the name of fun and entertainment. Fireworks kill birds and aren't we the brilliant nation we choose to sell fireworks right in the middle of the breeding season! Aren't we so smart. In some countries you can be prosecuted for chopping trees down in the breeding season, chopping trees seems to be a national past time here.
The greatest threat to out bird life is still MAN and until we can respect and protect the birds from ourselves we are in no position to critise other creatures for doing what comes naturally
4/02/2013 3:53:46 p.m.
Sally Tripp wrote:
I am concerned that Bob Kerridge comments that cats diet includes cicadas and lizards as if these don't matter in the way that birds do. New Zealand is the home of many species of lizard and they get devoured by cats. New Zealand lizards are different to those found in other countries. These differences include that lizards give birth to baby lizards (they don't lay eggs) and that they breed slowly. Some cats dissected after death have been found with many lizards in their gut proving that they do prey on lizards. A similar argument can be made for the importance of native insects if cats do indeed eat these. I seek to protect the lizards in my garden as much as I do birds. We used to own a cat but after we came to live in our current home nearly thirty years ago we didn't get another cat after he died because of the nearby bush and birds. But that didn't stop other cats coming into our garden. We now have a small dog who loves to chase cats away so we are now reassured the native fauna are safe from cats on our property. We'd advocate responsible ownership of cats: chipped, desexed and kept inside.
4/02/2013 12:34:16 p.m.
morgans panic tactics remind me of years ago when all rottweilers should go and all dobermans were vicious I think that common-sense should prevail and stop people selling all pets like objects until they are at least old enough to be fixed before being sold as people are too irresponsible to do the right thing microchip them and register them etc
3/02/2013 4:19:26 p.m.
Tim Whale wrote:
In Syria they are worried about whether they will live through the next missile strike, in the United States it is gun control, in Spain it is epic unemployment. And in ole NZ we are worried about... cats. DOn't we live in a great country. But good on you Gareth Morgan for bring this issue to the fore, I totally agree that stray cats should be killed and that cat owner's should register and confine their cats to their property. Nothing worse than walk down your drive in the morning to see some cat droppings.
2/02/2013 6:34:27 p.m.
The SPCA should treat cats the same way it treats other animals that don't find a home. They get the needle not a colony. Also cat owners should be made to control their cats the same way dog owners do. They should also pay councils licences to pay for the colonies and to pay for the capture of cats that have strayed from there properties.
It'd like to see the bird and lizard life we uses to have before the neighbours got cats. We had over 70 lizards and a number of NZ birds, we now have none. Gareth has it right.
2/02/2013 1:49:30 p.m.
Millie Dog wrote:
Appalling practice on the part of the SPCA. All those cats should be euthanised immediately. I am also concerned that there may be other cat colonies in the country.
1/02/2013 10:15:41 p.m.
I love the suggestions about cat curfews - keeping your cat inside at night, and not allowing it to roam off your property. Cats are not like dogs - you can't easily stop them roaming (they climb fences and trees with ease, unlike dogs) and if you try to call a cat in at night you can bet your life the one time you want it to come in will be the night that the cat will have its own plans and totally ignore you. Dogs - you just call them and they come, Cats - they just look at you and smirk!
1/02/2013 8:08:38 p.m.
Few years ago now I caged trapped 26 wild cats in a month we live on a farm just out of town they were all dumped domestic cats. SPCA releasing cats is infuriating beyond belief. This is not the cats fault its irresponsible owners and irresponsible SPCA leadership to a epic magnitude. Obviously the SPCA needs to change there policy's and have a review on how this was even allowed to happen in the first place.
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