Rise in violence to cats since Morgan campaign

Gareth Morgan.
Gareth Morgan.
Aggravated violence and cruelty against cats is on the rise in New Zealand, significantly since late January when Gareth Morgan launched his anti-cat campaign, SPCA national president Bob Kerridge says.

Mr Kerridge asked staff at all SPCA branches to collate information about cases of cat cruelty following widespread media coverage about Mr Morgan's campaign, to identify whether it led to an increase.

''I was concerned that the campaign may well trigger an impulse in some people who have a dislike of cats to actually take that dislike out on them. As a result of that, we've had reports of some bizarre cat cases.''

Dead cats found hanging from trees in a South Dunedin park recently was one such example and the result of a ''very sick and vindictive mind'', Mr Kerridge said.

He did not directly link cases of cat cruelty to Mr Morgan, but said the campaign's negative impact was noticeable.

''We've had sufficient evidence to suggest that in the last few months there has been an increase of incidents against cats.''

Mr Morgan said it was mere speculation his campaign prompted people to be cruel towards cats, and under no circumstances did he support or endorse cruelty towards any animal.

The SPCA had a vested interest in linking his campaign to an alleged increase in cat cruelty, he said.

''It's an irresponsible organisation, taken over by animal rights people, who put the rights of cats over the rights of any other species.

''I've told the SPCA, publicly and privately, that I'll become their biggest supporter - financially and morally - once they retain their moral compass and stop supporting stray cats,'' Mr Morgan said.


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