Gareth Morgan, an economist and environmentalist, has started a campaign to rid New Zealand of all cats in order to preserve its native bird life. Morgan launched a website called Cats To Go, claiming that cats are “friendly neighborhood serial killers” and are wiping out New Zealand’s native bird population.
“That little ball of fluff you own is a natural born killer. Every year cats in New Zealand destroy our native wildlife. The fact is that cats have to go if we really care about our environment,” the website says. “New Zealand is the last refuge of a huge range of bird species, we’re famous for our claim to be clean and green, and some of us have recognised the huge economic benefit, let alone the ecological dividend, from achieving a Predator Free New Zealand.”
While the campaign doesn’t call for the euthanasia of cats, it does mention it as an option. Mainly, it asks New Zealanders to make their current cat their last while neutering them.
The Guardian notes that Morgan’s science is unclear and that some argue that cats may help the bird population by reducing the population of rodents, which sometimes feed on bird eggs.
The campaign notes that almost half of New Zealand households have at least one cat, making the country the world’s biggest cat owners. Given this statistic, it’s not surprising that the campaign is making many citizens very unhappy. 72 percent of the website’s viewers have voted that they are not in favor of the kitty extermination.