Only in New Zealand are they coming for your cat

Oh no. The news that we are starting to ban cats has reached the international media.?The Washington Post?has picked up the story. quote:

New Zealand?s efforts to protect its most rarefied creatures are turning to a measure that has rattled many cat owners: banning feline friends. The southern coastal village of Omaui ? inhabited by 35 people, seven or eight cherished cats and a slew of endangered species, according to?reporting from the New York Times?? is considering a ?pest plan? to defend New Zealand?s vulnerable native wildlife. The plan would prohibit domestic cats, arguing owners should be willing to put the island?s extraordinary biodiversity over their furry companions. end quote.

It seems that, apart from some rules about keeping cats indoors at certain times of day or night, no other country has an outright cat ban. We are groundbreakers in this particular area.

I don’t want New Zealand to be a world leader in banning cats. I want to see us deal with this problem another way. quote:

Introduced on Tuesday, the Omaui proposal ? which targets 72 predators, including domestic cats ? would require current cat-izens to be neutered, micro-chipped and registered within six months. After a cat dies, its owner would not be allowed to get another. Should residents resist, the government would force them to exile their cats ? or seize them as a last resort.

?It doesn?t matter how many [rodents] I trap and poison, more just keep coming in from the bush,? Nico Jarvis, an Omaui resident who owns three cats and is starting a petition to combat the ban, told the?Otago Daily Times.?If I cannot have a cat, it almost becomes unhealthy for me to live in my house.?

Jarvis accused Environment Southland, the regional council behind the pest plan, of behaving ?like a police state? by trying to prohibit Omaui?s domestic cats, and said the majority of the community thinks the benefit to local wildlife would be negligible. end quote.

We know that if cats are removed, it will make very little difference to the bird life because the destruction will just be resumed by rats. Nobody seems to be considering the possibility that it could be feral cats doing the damage to bird life, and that is a different matter altogether. quote:

But Jeremy Collins, the Omaui Landcare Charitable Trust chairman who pushed for the ban, said he?s seen native birds ?ripped to pieces? on his front lawn. end quote.

Yes, but as I said, can he be sure that is not the work of feral cats? Someone needs to adopt The Morgan Score down in Southland.

And hang on a minute. Can Environment Southland, the regional council that proposes the cat ban, actually enforce this?

There is, as far as I know, no legislation that gives them the power to ban cat ownership. Cats, under common law, are viewed as domesticated animals that are not a risk to humans. As this is the case, everyone has the right to keep a cat if they wish, and any ban could be legally contested.

Local residents may be shamed into complying, however, although there are always ways of getting around these unnecessary rules.

Man Built His Cat a Ladder after his Landlord Banned the Cat from Sneaking in | The Meow Post Daily Cat Blog

Okay. We will forget about the landlord issue, just for the moment. This person doesn’t live in Omaui anyway.

Nevertheless, it is hard to imagine how any of this could be enforced. If a resident bought another cat after a previous one had died, are we really going to see the cat police come and confiscate the new cat?



The Cat police
Image credit Pixy