NZ Herald 24 August 2019
Cat activists are desperately forking out tens of thousands of dollars to desex and microchip strays as the number of cats euthanised under Auckland’s contentious new pest management plan hits 88.
The culling of cats found without microchips in “ecologically sensitive areas” of the Auckland region was a controversial component of Auckland Council’s 2019 Regional Pest Management Strategy (RPMS), which officially took effect in March.
Animal activists had repeatedly objected during RPMS’ 12-month consultation period that unchipped domestic cats were at risk of being rounded up in the hundreds of “ecologically sensitive areas” scattered across the Auckland Region.
Whether justified or not, such fears have activists personally housing more than 10 cats at time and reportedly spending up to $100,000 of their own money on desexing and medical costs.
Despite figures on the number of cats culled in 2018 not being available, Auckland Council’s biosecurity principal advisor Dr Imogen Bassett says the 88 euthanised feral cat number is not actually a reflection of the new RPMS that is “not yet operative”.
“We don’t expect a huge change in the number of cats being euthanised under the new plan compared to the old one,” Dr Bassett told the Herald.
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