WELLINGTON, New Zealand (January 22, 2013)--Gareth Morgan would like to see New Zealand free of cats, but the environmental advocate triggered a claws-out backlash with his new anti-feline campaign.
Morgan called on his countrymen Tuesday to make their current cat their last in order to save the nation's unique native birds.
He isn’t suggesting that people kill their cats, but rather that they neuter them and then not replace them when they die.
His ideas are not sitting well in a country with one of the highest cat ownership rates in the world, however.
Cat lovers say they don't want to be deprived of the companionship a cat brings.
A 2011 survey by the New Zealand Companion Animal Council found that 48 percent of New Zealand households owned at least one cat, significantly higher than in other developed nations.