Wide range of views on cat-free island plan
A suggestion to rid Stewart Island of moggies has met with mixed reactions.
The Southland Times reported this week environmental campaigner Gareth Morgan said he would like to make Stewart Island the world's first pest-free community - and that included feral and pet cats. Cats were a serious threat to native species and the island's cat population would have to be sacrificed, he said.
But island woman Tracey Baker said residents should be allowed a pet cat if they wanted one.
"They can go to hell, they're not getting rid of my cat," she said.
Birdwatching guide Matt Jones said the issue was a difficult one.
"It's very difficult to stop people having pets but I think it's like anything, as long as you're responsible and discourage them from going after bellbirds or something . . . it's a bit different with feral cats though, I haven't got much time for them really. They do a lot of damage to birdlife both in and out of the national park," he said.
Online reaction to the plan was also mixed.
On The Southland Times website, Jim wrote: "The idea has merit but has anyone asked the locals? If the green movement have their way, dogs will be told to go next and after that, humans!", while on Facebook Gerard McCall said Stewart Island was too big and dense for the proposal to be successful.
"This is one of the most absurd ideas flouted in this country . . . the boat has long set sail for this to ever happen. Get real!!!" he wrote.
Also on Facebook, Louise Armstrong said the proposal was fair enough, as cats killed birdlife indiscriminately.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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