Friday 12 December 2014

New Zealand's Veterinarians Want a Humane, Scientific and Holistic Approach to Better Manage Cat Population

New Zealand's veterinarians have decided that there is a need in their country to take a serious look at the growing cat population which they say requires urgent action.

I'm pleased to read that they wish to take a humane and scientific approach to what they describe as cat management. In addition, they stress that the focus must always be on responsible cat ownership.

In addition there needs to be an all-encompassing, holistic approach from local and national government in order to achieve real results. I think we can see that when there are ad hoc, piecemeal changes made to legislation it doesn't work very well.

The president of the New Zealand Veterinary Association, Mr Merchant, states that "a strategy to address our growing stray cat population is long overdue, and must include a clear focus on responsible cat ownership."

What Mr Merchant is saying is in stark contrast to what was put forward not so long ago by a NZ scientist who recommended that in effect there should be mass killing of unwanted cats in New Zealand. That provoked outrage from many people. Killing cats is not the answer. It is simply a reaction. The much better method is to prevent the creation of cats through responsible cat caretaking.

What New Zealand's veterinarians are saying really apply to other countries because they have the same problems. I'm a firm believer that the time has come to create an alternative culture and attitude towards the ownership of the domestic cat. For a very long time there has been a laissez-faire attitude which has resulted in too many unwanted cats.

The focus as Mr Merchant says must be on highly responsible cat ownership and there has to be a coordinated approach at various levels of government including animal control organisations in order to reduce the numbers of unwanted cats humanely while at the same time reducing the supply of unwanted cats through better ownership.


1 comment:

  1. I think it's the status of the cat that is the issue. In so many countries cats are considered "less" and not worth concern, unless they are impinging on the selfish lives of our pathetic populace.

    No one is concerned about the numbers of cats. These issues are dominated by careerist low level politicians, striving to make a name for themselves, or maybe large rescue or pest control organisations trying to grab a sizey, financial contract to kill cats

    The TNR evidence is clear. Managed neutered colonies are no health risk to other animals or human animals.

    Killing creates a vacuum, one that nature will immediately fill with more cats.

    The large cat charities and animal welfare orgs' could do much to promote responsible stewardship and also use the millions they keep in the bank to fund low cost spay/neuter. Some offer vouchers, but none of them advertise via a suitably large enough campaign.

    I used to think that New Zealand was a much more intelligently humane country than Australia, but sadly, they aren't.


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