Morgan's offer: $5 for every cat killed

Gareth Morgan has offered $5 for every homeless cat they put down.
Gareth Morgan has offered $5 for every homeless cat they put down.

Environmentalist Gareth Morgan has offered to donate $5 to the SPCA for every homeless cat they put down.

Morgan and SPCA executive president Bob Kerridge have been locked in a war of words after the businessman launched the "Cats to Go" campaign last week, labelling cats as "natural-born killers" and calling for local governments to require registration and micro-chipping of cats, and to eradicate unregistered cats.

In a New Zealand Herald opinion piece, Kerridge called for Morgan to "rethink your tactics and join us to bring about a positive solution by encouraging responsible cat ownership".

"Why not put your money where your busy mouth is and support us by assisting with the funding of desexing and micro-chipping of every domestic cat in the country. That will make a positive difference, and will free up SPCA funding to add to our bird rescue activities," Kerridge wrote.

"If you don't want to do that, and you continue on your ridiculous resolve to be rid of all cats, I can only repeat what I have already said: 'Butt out of our lives, and don't deprive us of the beautiful relationship that a cat can provide, individually, and in our families'."

Morgan responded to Kerridge on Campbell Live last night.

"Yesterday Bob Kerridge had the audacity to write in the New Zealand Herald to lay down a challenge to me to put my money where my mouth is and give the SPCA some money.

"I'll do that, Bob. I'll do it as long as you stop being the society to protect cats and start becoming the SPCA as we all think you are.

"Here's the condition: You will not release one more cat into the wild in New Zealand. You will only release cats to registered owners who will chip them. If you do that, then for every cat that is turned into an authorised pound and doesn't satisfy those conditions, so nobody claims (it), and is euthanised, I will give $5 to the SPCA."

Morgan accused the SPCA of "single-handedly destroying our native species".

"These people are releasing cats back into the wild - it's unbelievable."

He told Campbell Live his campaign had nothing to do with those cats confined to their owner's homes, and rejected that he ever said people should not be able to replace their pet cats when they die.

"What I'm saying is keep your cat confined and if you can't keep your cat confined, then yes, please make this your last cat.

"Don't let your cat wander off your section - that's my bottom line."

Morgan suggested people tired of their neighbours' cats walking across their property should cage-trap them and take them to their local council, to prompt local authorities to deal with the issue of wandering cats.

"I'm coming at this from the conservation angle, that the biggest asset this country has, by a country mile, is its natural capital, and I'm about monetising that so I can boost the incomes and jobs in New Zealand. This is just one part of that puzzle."

- nzherald.co.nz

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