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New Zealand Town Considers Cat Ban to Protect Wildlife

Image via Coupek Martin/Shutterstock

Omaui, a town in New Zealand, is considering implementing a ban on new domestic cats in an attempt to help protect their ecosystems and native wildlife.

As explained by BBC News, “Under the initiative, proposed by Environment Southland, cat owners in Omaui will have to neuter, microchip and register their moggies with local authorities. After their pet dies, cat lovers in the community will then not be allowed to get any more.”

Ali Meade, biosecurity operations manager for Environment Southland, tells Otago Daily Times, “Anyone not complying would receive a notice to remove the cat, and as an ‘absolute last resort’ Environment Southland would remove the cat at a cost to the landowner.”

The radical proposal comes in response to the devastating effect cats have had on native wildlife populations of birds, small mammals and small reptiles. Studies have found that domestic and feral cats are responsible for the deaths of billions of birds and small animals each year. And many of the affected wildlife in New Zealand are threatened and endangered species.

The new proposal has stirred up a great deal of controversy amongst the citizens of Omaui and has been met with both support and resistance. Nico Jarvis, a local resident, compared this proposal to a “police state,” according to Otago Daily Times. She says that she, along with many other residents, will actively petition to stop the ban.

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