The Quest to Ban Cats in New ZealandS

Kiwi economist and businessman Gareth Morgan has set up a website called Cats To Go. Apparently there are around 1.4 million cats in New Zealand, with 48% of households owning at least one cat. That makes New Zealanders the wolrd's biggest cat owners. So many cats! Morgan would like to see them all dead. No, really. The National Business Review calls it "animal racism." One blog ran with the headline "Morgan Hates Pussy."

The Quest to Ban Cats in New ZealandS

Here's the thing: As the AP reports,

For thousands of years, New Zealand's native birds had no predators and flourished. Some species, like the kiwi, became flightless. But the arrival of mankind and its introduction of predators like cats, dogs and rodents has wiped out some native bird species altogether and endangered many others.

"Imagine a New Zealand teeming with native wildlife, penguins on the beach, kiwis roaming about in your garden," Morgan writes on his website. "Imagine hearing birdsong in our cities."

This infographic sums up the whys and hows. Morgan doesn't demand you immediately have your cat euthanized (on his website he writes, "Not necessarily but that is an option"). But he thinks cats should be inside 24 hours a day. And, "if that's impractical then when the time comes ensure this is the last cat you ever own."

So basically, this argument pits the right to own a pet versus a nation's ecological well-being. And right now, 72% of people who have answered the poll on Morgan's website would not consider having their current cat be their last. They'd rather have cats, birds be damned. We always suspected cats were poised for world domination.

NZ to Eradicate Pet Cats? Purr-Ish the Thought! [AP]
Cat culling to save our native birds? [3News Video]