Wednesday 5 July 2023

Paddy Gower doesn't understand why it's wrong to cull feral cat in New Zealand

Patrick Gower is a New Zealand politician journalist and National Correspondent for Newshub. Incidentally, I cannot access the Newshub website on which there is a discussion about killing all feral cats in New Zealand because I am in Europe (crazy I say). 

Paddy Gower
Paddy Gower. Image:

But as you can see from the tweet by Paddy Gower, he doesn't understand why Kiwis (New Zealand citizens) are so mad when the authorities want to cull feral cats because they are killing native birds, bats and even dolphins he says.

The reference to dolphins by the way is this: Toxoplasma gondii oocysts are shed in cat faeces (once and for about 10 days) and they sometimes make their way to the oceans where they can infect marine wildlife. Although it is very, very rare and they have been very few reports of this happening.

It's a reflection of his bias against feral cats. Although I can understand what appears to be his hatred of feral cats. He is passionate about conserving New Zealand's native species as Australians are with their species.

I am going to try and explain to him why Kiwis are so mad at culling feral cats. Clearly these Kiwis are people who are sensitive to the sentience of feral cats. He isn't. He practices speciesism which means he favours one species over another.

He doesn't mind shooting feral cats which causes a lot of pain and distress. Therefore, he doesn't mind being cruel to feral cats. So one reason why it's wrong to shoot feral cats or poison them is because it is cruel.

Perhaps a more important reason is the fact that human beings through their carelessness put feral cats on the planet in the first place. If somebody is careless and creates a problem, they then owe a duty to others to solve the problem in a decent and humane way if that problem concerns animals.

That's logical. That is common sense. Simply shooting and poisoning feral cats is not dealing with a human problem humanely. That's another reason why it's wrong.

And thirdly, when you go out of your way to kill feral cats in large numbers you cannot do it in a way which is precise enough to ensure that you are not killing someone's pet domestic cat. At a distance you can't tell the difference between feral cats and domestic cats. 

And if you have devices which chuck poison gel onto passing animals you are going to kill feral cats certainly but you are also going to kill other animals including, possibly, someone else's pet cat.

And it seems to me you might also kill one of New Zealand's native species. Those are three good reasons why Kiwis are mad or should be mad about culling feral cats.

But I'm afraid Patrick Gower doesn't get it. This indicates to me that he is stupid or he is too biased to have an open mind to what's wrong with the proposal to kill all feral cats in New Zealand in any way possible and as expediently as possible.

If you want to kill feral cats kill them humanely and do the decent thing which can only mean euthanising them by veterinarian. That of course is nowhere near fast enough and it will be far too expensive and irritating to people like Patrick Gower to contemplate.

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