Man Says He's Killed 170 Cats to Protect Local Wildlife

He says the best place for a cat in a bush suburb is under his veggie garden.

12 September 2018, 8:25am


Last month, New Zealand's Environment Southland proposed a controversial plan to register and microchip cats in some areas and to ban Omaui residents from replacing their dead cats in order to protect the area’s biodiversity. But one Southland man wasn’t “holding his breath about it” and has already taken matters into his own hands.

Ian Gamble, from the Otatara suburb of Invercargill, claimed on Environment Southland’s social media page that he had killed and buried 170 cats. "Cats do not belong in bush suburbs. If they are not banned they should be contained indoors. I have lived here for over 30 years and have 170 cats in my veggie garden, which is the best place for a cat in a bush suburb."

Gamble said he made the comments to "rark up the cat ladies of Otatara". But nonetheless, he stood by his claim. "I'm legally allowed to use a humane kill trap on my property and almost all of the cats were feral.”

His trap works by snapping a cat’s neck when it puts its head in to sniff the bait. "I've never seen anything live through it," he said. It was highly unlikely, Gamble said, that he would have killed any of his neighbours’ pets, as it was very difficult to catch well-fed cats.

Gamble’s comments rattled the cages of some other posters, with one vowing to report him to the SPCA. An Invercargill branch of the SPCA said it was aware of the situation and had launched an investigation. Under the Animal Welfare Act, killing an animal that comes onto your property is legal if done humanely, so Gamble could only be prosecuted if there was undue suffering to the animal.

This article originally appeared on VICE NZ.

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