(Photo : Wikimedia Commons)
Had enough of cats? Join Gareth Morgan. An environmentalist, Morgan has come under fire for a very controversial proposition - get rid of felines in New Zealand. This might sound cruel and unusual, but Morgan argues that it is necessary to protect native wildlife, especially birds.
"Every year cats in New Zealand destroy our wildlife. The fact is that cats have to go if we really care about the environment," reads the opening statement for Morgan's site Cats To Go.
If you can get past the obvious exclusion of "cats" from the "environment," the website's sidebar contains links to pages titled "Why not to have a cat" and "Your cat is not innocent" and the ominous "What you can do."
So what exactly is it you can do about cats in New Zealand?
It's not so dogmatic as you think. In fact, the five suggestions that Cats To Go makes aren't so outlandish, and are worth their salt in an ecosystem's context. Here they are:
1) Get a bell for your cat. They may be less than 50% effective but every bit counts
2) Get your cat neutered if it has not been already
3) If you have a cat, keep it inside from now on.
4) Overcome your denial, domestic cats are an environmental threat, don't replace your cat.
5) Sign this petition now lobbying local governments to require registration and micro-chipping of cats, to provide eradication facilities for unregistered cats, and encourage people to trap and turn in unwanted cats on their property
Morgan's roadmap reads like any sensible solution to a problem, but recent reports are indicating that most people are opposed to the idea of encouraging any kind of "eradication." It doesn't help that this method is put so callously, and that cats are Internet superstars (where this story will likely get buried under a series of cat-Beethoven videos) but perhaps a more important discussion should be argued - is a systemic approach to population and food chain control the equivalent of playing God?