Wild cats plaguing Masterton
Thu, 26 Jul 2012 6:25p.m.
By Jerram Watts
A fierce debate has broken out in Masterton about what to do with wild cats breeding in a local park.
On one side there's the SPCA lobby which says they should be left alone - on the other there are those who want the cats trapped and euthanised or simply shot.
A colony of stray cats has made its home in Queen Elizabeth Park - they're more playful than pesky, and don't seem to mind people.
However the council is not happy.
“The cats are feral cats from the council's point of view, they don't belong to anyone, they've obviously been released in the park by people that don't want them,” councillor Sue Southey says.
Val Ball of the SPCA says the cats have been in the park for years, and are fed regularly by the public.
“If the cats were feral they would tend to keep to themselves, way out of sight. They would only come out when people have gone.”
But the cats are breeding, and the council wants to act.
“If we decide to catch the cats, and how we are going to do that, then they will be euthanised,” Ms Southey says.
Or shot, which is a suggestion from one councillor who wouldn't appear on camera today, but who told 3 News the cats are a menace.
But the SPCA would rather they be trapped and de-sexed.
“I don't believe that they need to be put down, no," says Ms Ball.
They look healthy, but some of them are diseased and are disturbing other wildlife.
“And they catch our birds, which is not what we want, we want the birds in the park not the cats,” Ms Southey says.
Glen McIsaac has been coming to the park for years, he says they aren't feral but something needs to be done.
“They need to be controlled, perhaps they need to do a culling or something.”
Council officers are now preparing a report so a decision can be made on the cats in two weeks.
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28/11/2012 12:37:30 p.m.
Leave the cats alone. No de-sexing,no shooting. leave them to live as they should. who cares if they kill a couple of stupid old birds. Birds are birds. Cat are the lords of the planet.
28/07/2012 3:12:33 p.m.
Shoot the bloody things, they are feral animals, no better than possums. I for one shoot heaps of wild cats on the farm, they destroy native bird populations and carry all sorts of diseases, they also get into fights with domesticated pet cats and give them feline aids. So no, desexing and releasing them is not the "sensible solution". besides have you any idea how much time, resources and tax payer money an excercise like that would burn up? Stop litening to the airy fairy ill informed tree huggers and fix the problem permanently.
27/07/2012 10:57:43 a.m.
The cats aren't there by accident - they've been dumped by local people who share the same callous attitude towards animals as Counciller Callaghan. Killing the cats won't solve the problem because the problem (as usual!)is people. If you get a pet it's for LIFE! You don't ditch it because you're moving house or becuase your chidren get bored with it.
And as for cats gobbling native birds -where exactly is the evidence that they kill significant numbers? It's just an excuse for cat haters to rabble rouse.
27/07/2012 5:54:41 a.m.
Gaye Thompson wrote:
As a founding memeber of The Humane Alternative Group I know with certainty desexing and releasing these cats is the only sensible solution. While the public are kindly feeding these cats they are also contributing to put the cats in healthy peak condition to breed, where as desexing will enable them to stop the over population but the cats will remain a healthy colony. Destroying the colony will not solve the problem, it will only allow room for new cats to migrate and take over the area knowing that there is a food source available. Once this happens and I can assure you it would only be a matter of time you have the same problem all over. Once a colony has been trapped, desexed and released nature oversees the colony numbers decrease.Yes I am sure some of these cats are impacting on the wildlife but again if feed the urge to kill for hunger is not in the equation, some cats do kill because that what cats are reknown for but not only your ferals but the parks neighbouring cats are also just as guilty of this. Remember just because a cat doesn't have an address doesn't mean it doesn't have a home!
26/07/2012 9:18:27 p.m.
omg how can they council say shoot them. Im sory thats way out of line im sure these council people have pets an knw they r like family like val ball said catch thm desex them its not that hard. An they not harming anyone id hapy be a foster home for these cats i love my pets an wil not hear of them being shot an many otha pet ownerz out there wil agree!
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