Im surprised this made it onto ATS front page.
Gareth Morgan is a rich, aging man wanting to mark his stamp on history. He does this sort of thing regularly and usually what he does is a good
thing, he'll dump money onto getting humanitarian measures setup and the like for underprivileged children and other such causes.
But this cat thing of his is stupid.
And the way he is attacking this shows its more of a 'come hell or high water' issue for him than anything that is actually rational. I mean the guy
was mentioned in the paper the second week this was being talked about as saying if he, after coming back from his trip to China hadn't gotten what
he'd wanted, he'd begin phase 2 of his idea... I mean the guy won't take no for an answer. Not to mention every time he's been interviewed ive
seen little or no actually numbers for his argument just vague percentages and emotive hyperbole language like 'slaughter', 'kill for fun', 'Cats
just love to kill things' and other similar phrases to deride cats (yeah dogs and humans love to kill things also).
I mean last week in his last interview about this he basically spat the proverbial dummy (pacifier for you Americans) on live TV when he realized he
wasn't getting the reaction he wanted and said that the SPCA of NZ was by saving cats, killing the wildlife of NZ off and that they should no longer
be given any funding. He even said he'd give them 5$ for every cat they put down... although interestingly he had to bite his words when he said it
since he appeared to be about to use another less palatable word...
Gareth Morgan offers to pay for cat
Whats funny is Mr Morgan and his 'team' seem to completely forget that feral cats in NZ are now part of the eco system and are by their nature
Rodent killers (cats HAVE to eat rodents to survive, they contain a very important nutrient), along with Rats, Mice, Rabbits and Stoats. Rats and
Stoats kill more native wild life than domestic cats do... but guess what eats the Rats and Stoats?... the feral and domestic cats.
I own 10 cats currently, over the last 10 years we rescued 4 feral kittens, 2 kittens where dumped domestics (1 was dumped down a long drop toilet to
die and another was found wandering the side of a country road) and our others where made up of proper domestic cats we acquired from litters (2 being
our originals that replaced our old cats when they both died of cancer 10 years ago).
Of those 10, 4 simply dont hunt (and will only take a kill from one of the others) another 2 occasionally try to but are pretty crud at it and have
caught probably only 6 or so animals between them since we got them and of the 4 rehabilitated feral cats only 3 of them hunt actively the other one
(smallest of all our cats) doesnt even leave the house 90% of the time.
Over the last 10 years our cats have caught uncountable mice, 10's of rats, probably less than 150 blackbirds (non-native), 100's of Wax-eyes
(native non endangered bird, extremely prolific breeders) and Finches, at least 6 Rabbits and 1 Tui, 1 Fan Tail (both types of native bird that are
extremely hard to catch for cats and ours simply got lucky, I witnessed both those kills) and 1 King Fisher which again was a very lucky catch.
Killer cats: Does the science back
up the claims?
And as the scientist in that piece indicates, its the ratio you have to look at, but Mr Morgan doesnt do that or even mention it and just lumps it all
into 'Native Birds' after all it makes his argument bigger and more alarmist by doing so (not to mention omitting the fact Cats domestic and feral
keep the REAL threat to native birds in check).
His views on Catch, Neuter and release are misguided to, and being used simply to shock people who know little about what it actually does (ie the
SPCA stood up to him so in Phase 2 he'll shock people into no longer supporting them 'oh the horror they release feral cats back into the wild!'),
a neutered cat maintains a territory just as aggressively as feral cats. If you catch a feral cat and then put it down all you do is make a
territorial gap that more feral cats come into and breed and increasing the issue of feral cat populations. A released neutered feral has no breeding
capacity and it maintains a zone of exclusion for other feral cats pushing the boundary of feral cat populations outward and stopping wandering males
from breeding... not to mention neutered felines live longer than their un-neutered variant.
The guys an attention seeking idiots, who I used to think was a good guy with intelligence. Now when i see Mr Morgan talk all ill see is a man looking
for a statue to be made in his honor... Mr Morgan go back to funding poor kids in Africa, please.