SPCA rejects Morgan's 'sick' cat plan
SPCA boss Bob Kerridge
Economist Gareth Morgan is offering to pay the SPCA $5 for every unwanted cat that it puts down as the fur flies in his war on feral cats.
Mr Morgan, who has launched a campaign to stop feral cats predating native birds, told TV3's Campbell Live on Wednesday he would give $5 to the SPCA for every unwanted cat they euthanised.
He said he was responding to a newspaper article by SPCA national president Bob Kerridge to put his money where his mouth was.
"I'll do that Bob, I'll do that as long as you stop being the society to protect cats and start becoming the SPCA as we all think you are.
"If you don't do it then I suggest that New Zealanders stop giving money to the SPCA because it's not what you think it is. It's nothing to do with cruelty, it's all about protecting cats. They have been taken over."
Mr Morgan said the SPCA was single-handedly destroying native species by releasing cats into the wild.
But Mr Kerridge rejected as "Morgan myths" the claims the SPCA had been taken over by cat people and that cats were released into the wild.
Trapping, neutering and releasing was an internationally accepted way of dealing with strays, he told NZ Newswire.
De-sexed cats were released into urban colonies, well away from native bush, and were cared and accounted for. Their diets were similar to domestic cats and most didn't need to hunt birds, he said.
"The SPCA has always been for all animals ... including birds, we are certainly not species-specific."
Mr Kerridge said Mr Morgan would not be taken up on his $5 offer.
"We are not in the business of euthanasing animals. I think it's a rather sick joke."