Morgan offers $5 for every cat killed

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

Dr 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, Mr Kerridge called for Dr 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," Mr 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'."

Dr Morgan responded to Mr 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."

Dr 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 owners' 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."

Dr 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."



I still don't buy it Gareth, I live in a place surrounded by bush in Blueskin Bay and have 2 cats, have always had cats, for over 30 years.  I would estimate the amount of rat faces and tails I find in my sunroom on a regular occasion would be about 25-30 rats per year maybe more. My garden is full of Tui, Kereru, Bellbird and Waxeyes, the odd Kingfisher and a flock of Rosella (not all native), yes they do catch birds but far less then they do rats (we have a bush rat population living in the willow trees) and I'm pretty sure the cats are not clever enough to think to themselves 'well this is a native, better not bring this one home!' I could count on one hand how many natives my cats have caught.  Now how about possums and stoats if you're looking for an animal to persecute??  Ever been down Gunns camp way in Fiordland?  Seen the stoat trapping they have to do?  The amount of possums?  the 1080 that needs to be used to control them (kills birds!).  The forest around Lake Monowai is unusually quiet now - rats, stoats, possums and 1080!  Not a  cat in sight. Does this man live anywhere near the bush? Or is he just another Man Who Hates Cats.

Numbers pulled out of the air?

My cat number estimates are from Biosecurity New Zealand and along with the estimate on rat numbers are way on the low side.

Wow, pussy haters are everywhere!

Estimation is useful

To criticize actual numbers given in the example gives no understanding whatsoever of mathematical modelling and the kind of processes likely to be involved.



Your argument is nothing but random numbers and made up assumptions. [abridged]


Think of a number...

Ha, I like the way you pluck a random number out of thin air and then proceed to build your argument around it. Very scientific. Ever thought of running for council??

Cats v Rats

I suppose we could always trap or poison the rats.

I think there was also a guy Pied someone or other we could employ.

Operation Cat Drop

Thank you, GW_Scam for doing the maths.

Here is a story about how more cats were parachuted into Borneo after human intervention had wiped out the local populations with unintended and dire consequences.

It may not be entirely true but it is still a warning that Morgan's 'remedy' may actually  reduce native bird numbers.


Morgan v cats

Ok, so we have concluded Mr Morgan does not like cats. Maybe he was scared by one at birth? But killing all the cats in NZ to save the native birds is very short sighted logic.

There are an estimated 1,500,000 pet cats in NZ. We can only guess there are probably at least another 500,000 feral cats. So that gives us at least two million cats nationwide.

Let's hazard a guess that each cat catches say 10 rats a year. Some would catch a lot more, some a lot less - so let's keep to ten on average. That is 20 million rats killed each year by cats.

From what I understand one favourite food for rats is bird eggs, predominantly native bird eggs I would have thought. So - we kill the cats, the rats continue at an extra 20 million the first year, and with their rampant breeding maybe 200 million extra the second year, and within two or three years we would have at least a billion more rats running around.

It doesn't take much to work out that without cats we would have almost zero native birds within a few years, as well as diseases spreading like wildfire across the NZ human population.

Thanks Mr Morgan, we all look forward to you 'saving us all' from nasty pussies.

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