Hunting competition where children try to kill as many feral cats as possible

Well this is gross. In New Zealand, the North Canterbury Hunting Competition unveiled a new category in which children under the age of 14 are encouraged to kill as many feral cats as possible. The winner gets $250. From The Guardian:

Prospective entrants were warned that killing anyone's beloved pet would see them expelled from the running: any children who produced dead microchipped cats would have their entire entry disqualified.

Animal rights campaigners, however, do not believe this safeguard will be sufficient. "Disqualifying dead cats with microchips is too little too late," said Will Appelbe, spokesperson for animal rights group SAFE[…]

Feral – and domestic – cats are a serious threat to biodiversity and native wildlife in New Zealand. They eat endangered native birds and eggs, lizards, bats and insects[…]

Department of Conservation principal scientist Craig Gillies said the department "supports control of feral cats, provided it is undertaken by experienced people using approved humane methods," but noted that "feral and domesticated cats are the same species [and] determining a difference between the two is virtually impossible."