Outdoor cats are no friend to birds, but even many birders enjoy pet cats and keep them responsibly indoors. One New Zealand environmental advocate wants to take it a step further, however, hoping to eliminate all pet cats from his country. According to Fox News, Gareth Morgan is urging a pet cat ban in order to preserve the country's unique avifauna. While he does not stress euthanasia - leaving that option to the pet's owner - he is asking that no one buy new cats, that pets be spayed or neutered and that a national registry be instituted for the animals.
Cats are directly responsible for the extinction of several New Zealand bird species, and several more are endangered and face grave threats from these predators. While Morgan's measures are extreme, they are not without precedent. The state of Florida prohibits several types of pet snakes, for example, and this month the state is hunting down invasive pythons that have devastated native birds.
Backyard birders can take steps to discourage feral cats, but even the most aggressive techniques aren't always effective. Do you agree with Morgan's proposal? What measures would you like to see in place to control outdoor cats? Share your thoughts in the comments!
Photo © Ed Brambley