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Children's Cat Cull Curtailed

ramonmercado

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Were they trying to inspire incipient serial killers?

New Zealand cat-killing competition for children axed after backlash​

A children's cat-hunting competition in New Zealand has been cancelled following backlash to the event.

Organisers of an annual hunt were criticised after they announced a new category for children to hunt feral cats, which are a pest in New Zealand. Youngsters were told to not kill pets, but they were otherwise encouraged to kill as many feral cats as possible for a prize of NZ$250 (£124; $155).

The event drew immediate condemnation from animal welfare groups.

On Tuesday, the New Zealand's Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said it was relieved the "children's category which involved shooting feral cats" would not go ahead.

A representative argued that children, along with adults, would not be able to differentiate between "a feral, stray or frightened domesticated cat", according to AFP.

There had also been fears that house cats could be "caught in the crossfire", one former sponsor of the hunt told local media outlet Stuff.


https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-65320162
 
Were they trying to inspire incipient serial killers?

No:

“Feral cats have a major impact on New Zealand’s native and non-native species. The basis of their diet alters with the habitat they live in. They feed on rabbits, birds and bird eggs, rats, hares, bats, lizards, mice, wētā and other insects.

Populations of endangered kakī/black stilt, wrybill and black-fronted terns are greatly impacted by cat predation in braided riverbeds in the central South Island.

Grand and Otago skink populations are at critically low levels in Central Otago, mainly due to cat predation.

On offshore islands, forest birds and sea birds make up a large part of the feral cat diet. In the 1980s, all kākāpō were removed urgently from Stewart Island/Rakiura to stop predation by cats.”

https://www.doc.govt.nz/nature/pests-and-threats/animal-pests/feral-cats/

maximus otter
 
Were they trying to inspire incipient serial killers?

New Zealand cat-killing competition for children axed after backlash​

A children's cat-hunting competition in New Zealand has been cancelled following backlash to the event.

Organisers of an annual hunt were criticised after they announced a new category for children to hunt feral cats, which are a pest in New Zealand. Youngsters were told to not kill pets, but they were otherwise encouraged to kill as many feral cats as possible for a prize of NZ$250 (£124; $155).

The event drew immediate condemnation from animal welfare groups.

On Tuesday, the New Zealand's Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said it was relieved the "children's category which involved shooting feral cats" would not go ahead.

A representative argued that children, along with adults, would not be able to differentiate between "a feral, stray or frightened domesticated cat", according to AFP.

There had also been fears that house cats could be "caught in the crossfire", one former sponsor of the hunt told local media outlet Stuff.


https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-65320162
Organisers of the North Canterbury Hunting Competition announced the cancellation of the cat event on Tuesday, saying they had received "vile and inappropriate emails".

I bet they had. :chuckle:
 
I suspect that I would have gone a touch further than "vile and inappropriate emails". Notwithstanding the debate around culling wildlife, getting children involved is monstrous.

“Just 6% of the monitored kea were killed by predators in 2019 but this jumped to 40% in 2020, most of which were eaten by stoats and feral cats."

"New research by DOC staff confirms what has long been suspected – feral and domestic cats are repeatedly hunting and eating New Zealand’s native bats/pekapeka."

"In the space of 7 days, one cat killed a total of 102 bats, and these only the ones that were found."

"The kākā is one of New Zealand’s native parrots. Despite being hammered by predators such as cats..."

"Toxoplasmosis is a parasitic disease which reproduces in cats and is a significant threat to dolphins."

https://www.doc.govt.nz/search-results/?query=cats

Etc. ad nauseam.

maximus otter
 
No:

“Feral cats have a major impact on New Zealand’s native and non-native species. The basis of their diet alters with the habitat they live in. They feed on rabbits, birds and bird eggs, rats, hares, bats, lizards, mice, wētā and other insects.

Populations of endangered kakī/black stilt, wrybill and black-fronted terns are greatly impacted by cat predation in braided riverbeds in the central South Island.

Grand and Otago skink populations are at critically low levels in Central Otago, mainly due to cat predation.

On offshore islands, forest birds and sea birds make up a large part of the feral cat diet. In the 1980s, all kākāpō were removed urgently from Stewart Island/Rakiura to stop predation by cats.”

https://www.doc.govt.nz/nature/pests-and-threats/animal-pests/feral-cats/

maximus otter

The article points to how children would be unlikely to be able to differentiate between domestic and feral cats. Giving kids the go ahead to kill pets isn't a good idea.
 
The article points to how children would be unlikely to be able to differentiate between domestic and feral cats. Giving kids the go ahead to kill pets isn't a good idea.

I'm sure that the kids were supervised and trained. The hysteria from cat users, will, however, drown all that out.

maximus otter
 
There was nothing in the report that suggested the kids were going to be supervised in the cat cull.

The contest was for those under 14.

NZ law states that you have to be 16 to be granted a firearms licence; under that age, one must be under supervision:

"Possession and use of firearms while under supervision

Everyone who possesses or uses a firearm needs to have a firearms licence, although non-prohibited firearms can be possessed and used under the immediate supervision of a licence holder in most circumstances. Immediate supervision means that the licence holder:

1. is physically present and actively supervising the shooter;

2. is close enough to be able to take control of the firearm being used by the shooter if necessary; and

3. is not using another firearm while providing supervision."

https://www.firearmssafetyauthority...t/files/2022-11/Firearms Safety Code 2022.pdf

maximus otter
 
The contest was for those under 14.

NZ law states that you have to be 16 to be granted a firearms licence; under that age, one must be under supervision:

"Possession and use of firearms while under supervision

Everyone who possesses or uses a firearm needs to have a firearms licence, although non-prohibited firearms can be possessed and used under the immediate supervision of a licence holder in most circumstances. Immediate supervision means that the licence holder:

1. is physically present and actively supervising the shooter;

2. is close enough to be able to take control of the firearm being used by the shooter if necessary; and

3. is not using another firearm while providing supervision."

https://www.firearmssafetyauthority.govt.nz/sites/default/files/2022-11/Firearms Safety Code 2022.pdf

maximus otter

And how likely do you think that kids would be to respect the law when they could get a monetary reward for each cat they kill?

Even the organisers accepted that it was a bad idea, stop digging.
 
And how likely do you think that kids would be to respect the law when they could get a monetary reward for each cat they kill?

Even the organisers accepted that it was a bad idea, stop digging.

a) The prize was for "most feral cats".

b) - And I'm out of this odd sidetrack.

maximus otter
 
https://www.cnn.com/2023/04/20/world/children-cat-killing-contest-new-zealand-intl-hnk/index.html

Children’s cat-killing contest axed following backlash in New Zealand​

By Heather Chen, CNN​



A contest planned for children in New Zealand to hunt and kill feral cats as part of a drive to protect native species has been axed following backlash from the public and animal rights groups.

The event would have been part of a fundraiser organized by the North Canterbury Hunting Competition for the Rotherham School, located in the Canterbury region of South Island.

Organizers on Saturday had announced a new junior category for children under 14 in the annual competition – to hunt feral cats for a top prize of 250 New Zealand dollars ($150).


The announcement drew public anger leading organizers to withdraw the event on Monday.

In a statement issued Wednesday, organizers said “vile and inappropriate emails and messages had been sent to the school and others involved.”

“We are incredibly disappointed in this reaction and would like to clarify that this competition is an independent community run event,” the statement read.

While cats are a popular and beloved pet among many New Zealanders, feral cats have been a long-standing issue between animal lovers and authorities because of the impact they can have other wild animals.

In neighboring Australia, authorities say feral cats threaten the survival of more than 100 native species. Feral cats are blamed for killing millions of birds, reptiles, frogs and mammals, every day, prompting authorities to arrange regular culls.

Organizers of the contest in Canterbury maintained that the junior hunting tournament to kill feral cats, using a firearm or other means, was about “protecting native birds and other vulnerable species.”

“Our sponsors and school safety are our main priority, so the decision has been made to withdraw this category for this year to avoid further backlash at this time,” it said.

“To clarify, for all hunting categories, our hunters are required to abide by firearms act 1983 and future amendments as well as the animal welfare act 1999.”

Fears for pets​


Addressing concerns from the public, organizers had earlier announced rules to discourage young participants from targeting pets.

Any child who brought in a microchipped cat would have been disqualified, organizers said.

The group also noted that scheduled hunts for other categories like local pigs and deer would still proceed.

The New Zealand Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said it was “both pleased and relieved” that the cat-killing contest for children had been removed. “Children, as well as adults, will not be able to tell the difference between a feral, stray or a frightened domesticated cat,” the SPCA said.

“There is a good chance someone’s pet may be killed during this event. In addition, children often use air rifles in these sorts of event which increase the likelihood of pain and distress and can cause a prolonged death,” it added.

Animals rights group PETA also welcomed the decision to cancel the event.

In a statement,Jason Baker, the group’s Asia Vice President said,”Encouraging kids to hunt down and kill animals is a sure-fire way to raise adults who solve problems with violence … We need to foster empathy and compassion in kids, not lead them to believe animals are ‘less than’ humans while rewarding them for brutality.”

The event attracted significant overseas attention, including from British comedian Ricky Gervais, a known animal lover with more than 15 million followers on Twitter.

He slammed the proposed cat hunt in a sarcastic tweet, saying: “Right. We need some new PR ideas to make the world love New Zealand. Maybe something involving kids & kittens. Yes, Hargreaves?”

New Zealand is one of the world’s last remote island nations and has no native land mammals besides bats.

There have been official campaigns against cats in previous years – including one that encouraged cat lovers to avoid replacing their pets when they die.

“Cats are the only true sadists of the animal world, serial killers who torture without mercy,” said then-Prime Minister John Key, who himself had a cat named Moonbeam.

“Historically, we know that feral cats were responsible for the extinction of six bird species and are leading agents of decline in populations of birds, bats, frogs and lizards,” Helen Blackie, a biosecurity consultant at Boffa Miskell told CNN affiliate RNZ.

Blackie, who has studied feral cats for two decades, said numbers had exploded in the last decade, and in some areas where pests were tracked by camera, feral cats outnumbered other species like possums.
 
Hmm, looks like I misread the story and there isn't a feral cat kill for grown ups.
Hmm, looks like you're being ..

Disingenuous

: lacking in candor. also : giving a false appearance of simple frankness : calculating. disingenuously adverb. disingenuousness noun.

(getting kids to shoot cats isn't a good idea though, I agree).
 
Hmm, looks like I misread the story and there isn't a feral cat kill for grown ups.
Hmm, looks like you're being ..

Disingenuous

: lacking in candor. also : giving a false appearance of simple frankness : calculating. disingenuously adverb. disingenuousness noun.

(getting kids to shoot cats isn't a good idea though, I agree).

Please assume good faith—especially with fellow long-term members who have offered no indication of mendacity in the past.
 
WTAF was also my reaction!

Now I like eating cats as much as anyone, but still, encouraging children to cull feral animals is a bit much.

Reminds me, yet again, of Black Adder - which is no bad thing!
hqdefault.jpg
 
Don't worry, they will still be able to blast away at deer and pigs, apparently with air rifles?!

The group also noted that scheduled hunts for other categories like local pigs and deer would still proceed.
“There is a good chance someone’s pet may be killed during this event. In addition, children often use air rifles in these sorts of event which increase the likelihood of pain and distress and can cause a prolonged death,” it added.
 
a) The prize was for "most feral cats".

b) - And I'm out of this odd sidetrack.

maximus otter
Max, I think that even (especially?) you would rather that, if someone is interested in learning to hunt, that they learn the ethical behaviour for hunting. Setting untrained and uneducated people out for random kills, regardless of age, is not the way to go if:
1. the person is interested in hunting,
2. an animal cull is needed.
 
...I was mistaken (I think, the stories aren't completely clear on the issue) and wanted to correct it.:dunno:

There doesn't seem to be an issue with killing feral cats, as such - but I don't think there's a cull in the sense of a centrally organised push in that direction.

The story seems to boil down to very poorly thought through actions on the part of a relatively small local organisation. There's clearly an environmentally very important issue to be addressed, and the worst case scenario is that the terrible PR this has engendered is going to make it more difficult to take remedial action.
 
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