- Maggie barry (Department of Conservation)Department of Conservation
- Peseta Sam Lotu-IigaMinistry of Local Government NZ
- Nathan GuyMinistry for Primary Industries
Cats or Rats? Don't let micro-chipping and curfews for cats become compulsory
Often people say: “ So what? If Microchipping for cats was compulsory – isn't that a good thing? Then lost or stolen cats and their owners can be reunited, can't they?”
Well, let's put it this way: If this was the only effect, like in the statement that “stop smoking improves your health”, then yes, let's go for it.
But there is more to consider:
Compulsory Micro-chipping is dangerous. Because it opens the door to kill all lost, stray cats who are not chipped. Compulsory Micro-chipping would be a death sentence for strays!
Imagine your own cat – although chipped, the moment she leaves your home and property, she will become more or less “stray” and fair game for all cat haters. The highly praised chip will not protect her from being killed. In fact, any micro-chipped but nevertheless unwelcome cat can be destroyed and disposed of without any consequences – like before when there was no mandatory micro-chipping.
Not all scanners are created equal. Some are better than others at reading a wide variety of microchips. That means: A pet may get lost, found, scanned and euthanized if the scanner comes up “empty”.
Microchips can also be faulty or fail over time and often migrate into other parts of the body. It's not only the scanner that fails!
What's then the point of having your pet micro-chipped if you can't get him back?
By the way: there is always the possibility to tax Companion Cats once they are registered.
And what about Curfews for cats?
Just imagine farm cats: How do they “work?” Contained and under a 24 hour or nightly curfew as often suggested? To such an extent restricted, their help to get farms rid of vermin would certainly be made impossible. Any farm cat has to be free roaming, which implies of course at least a certain “stray effect”. Moreover: Many farm cats are actually stray – in the term's true sense, as they only come home for their daily milk allowance, their tucker and a cuddle from the farmer's kids. Therefore it is very important to adhere to the 3 approved categories of cats (see Animal Welfare Act): Companion-,Stray- and Feral.
Dr John Flux, Zoologist and Ecologist says: “Keeping cats indoors at night is the completely wrong thing to do if we want to protect birdlife in our towns and cities. Cats catch rodents rather than birds at night and rodents are a much bigger threat to birds”.
When a cat has caught 10 rats, she has in fact saved the lives of hundreds of birds.
And there is something else:
Let's call it the patronizing of our society because of the authorities' increasing distrust in the majority of their citizens. Don't you believe that we know best what's good for our family members? Without the interference of others?
- Department of Conservation
Maggie barry (Department of Conservation)
- Ministry of Local Government NZ
Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga
- Ministry for Primary Industries
I just signed a petition calling on Department of Conservation, Local Government New Zealand and the Ministry for Primary Industries not to start any compulsory micro-chipping of and curfews for cats since I am convinced that such decision would be not only very short sighted, but also counterproductive, hypocritical and ineffective. There are several reasons for making micro chipping of cats NOT compulsory, but the most important one is certainly the illusion it would give cat guardians (not owners!) that their cats were safe when they left their property. In fact they would automatically be fair game for every cat hater. Any micro-chipped but nevertheless unwelcome cat can be destroyed and disposed of without any consequences – like before when there was no mandatory micro-chipping.
Curfews for cats would even be stupid: Since cats kill rats mainly at night, they couldn't help birds against their worst predator.
Please say no to compulsory micro-chipping and curfews. Thank you.
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