More than 19,000 outraged cat lovers have called on
Invercargill City Council chief executive Richard King to
apologise for and retract his comments about cat-trapping.
Cat lovers were ''disgusted by Mr King's exceptionally
irresponsible comments'', which they saw as promoting animal
cruelty, Invercargill resident Mia Nelson said yesterday.
She handed over a petition from people around the world to
Invercargill deputy mayor Cr Darren Ludlow at a regulatory
services committee meeting yesterday.
The council last year passed a bylaw stating property owners
within the urban area could keep no more than three cats.
But it is having difficulties with a woman believed to own 37
cats who has ignored an official notice to abide by the
Mr King upset cat lovers last month when he said disgruntled
neighbours could collect free cat traps from the council and
the council would not ask what had happened to the animals
Mr King had ''publicly advocated the killing and inhumane
disposal of animals'', Ms Nelson said.
Cr Ludlow said Mr King's views were not the views of the
council and he considered them ''careless and
''I don't think people should take the law into their own
hands and trap and dispose of cats,'' he said.
Mr King was not present at the meeting and could not be
reached afterwards for comment.
Later in the meeting, environmental health services manager
John Youngson told councillors the owner of the 37 cats did
not appear to want any of her animals rehomed and it was
likely the council would have to take the matter to court and
let a judge decide whether the bylaw could be enforced.