Cat hater seeks cat ban

Gareth Morgan wants cats gotten rid of. Claiming that the pets threaten New Zealand's native birds, the activist launched a website, Cats to Go, to convince his countrymen and women of the feline threat.

Citing reports that cats have contributed to the extinction of 9 native bird species and that 37 percent of those remaining are endangered, Morgan says that every one of New Zealand's cat addicts are to blame.

"If you're a cat owner reading this, you are probably thinking that the above statistics don't apply to your cat," he writes in his site's FAQ. "The fact is that your furry friend is actually a friendly neighbourhood serial killer."

He does not propose slaughtering them, however, instead asking New Zealanders to "consider not replacing your cat" when it dies.

Bob Kerridge, the president of the Royal New Zealand Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, told Morgan to "Butt out of our lives" in a statement given to local TV show Campbell Live.

"A cat-free anywhere is not a good area," says [Kerridge]. "I love birds and I love cats and I believe in nature doing its thing – why interfere with that? I think as soon as we start to interfere with nature, we start to interfere in an area we really shouldn't."

But Mr Morgan says saying 'leave it to nature' is risking extinction for our native species. He says contrary to the cute, cuddly image we have of kittens and cats, they "just love killing things".

At his blog, Morgan also links to a campaign to get rid of mice on the Antipodes Islands, where the tiny rodents eat native birds' eggs, rare insects and other ecological treasures.

Despite his arguments, clearly laid out under headings such as "Your cat is not innocent" and "NZ without cats", a poll at the site is currently running 70 percent to 30 percent against his proposition.