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New Zealand Economist Gareth Morgan Wants to Ban Cats with Anti Cat Campaign



Cats to Go New Zealand

Economist Gareth Morgan in New Zealand wants to see cats go, or disappear in other words. He is encouraging people to make their current cat, their last cat.

NZ Anti Cat Campaign

Source: “Cats to Go

Gareth Morgan has launched a campaign called, ‘Cats to Go‘ to help eradicate domestic cats. On the website he writes, “That little ball of fluff you own is a natural born killer. Every year cats in New Zealand destroy our native wildlife. The fact is that cats have to go if we really care about our environment.”

Why the push to get rid of cats? Morgan says, “Cats are incredibly effective hunters and are wiping out our native birds. New Zealand is the last refuge of a huge range of bird species, we’re famous for our claim to be clean and green, and some of us have recognized the huge economic benefit, let alone the ecological dividend, from achieving a Predator Free New Zealand.”

Given that in New Zealand, people own more cats per capita than most other parts of the world, it’s very unlikely that Morgan’s campaign will make it very far, rather be seen as a cat hater.  On Morgan’s website, 70 percent of people voted against making their current cat their last.

SPCA chief executive Bob Kerridge called the campaign “hare-brained and offensive”. He understands Dr Morgan wants people to stop buying new cats and to not replace pets when they die, but says, “People consider cats to be a member of the family. So he’s trying to, quite frankly, take away the civil liberties we all have to choose who we want in our home.”

Kerridge added that SPCA surveys have shown that fewer than half of New Zealand’s domestic cats killed other animals, and those that did, caught far more rodents than birds.  “Gareth Morgan is way out of line because very few native birds fall at the hand of cats, domestic cats,” Kerridge told the NZ Herald.

Morgan has suggested other ways to reduce the impact cats have on native bird populations in New Zealand. “I am advocating responsible pet ownership, not for people to bop their pets on the head. To me a responsible pet owner has their cat neutered, keeps it well fed and indoors as much as possible, and puts a bell on them.”

Gareth Morgan New ZealandMorgan’s site claims that the average household cat will bring home 13 pieces of prey each year. A video also makes other claims, such as: “Some cats will kill over a thousand birds each year,” “Every year, hundreds of millions of birds are murdered by cats,” “Cats torture their victims slowly and without mercy,” and “Cats are serial killers, cold and without compassion.”

In the video, research shows that “if you put a small animal next to an eating cat, it will pause, kill it, then return to its meal.” But in the study quoted on the website, it states that of 44 subjects, 26 did not attack the prey (more than 50 percent), and many who did kill presented defensive postures.

Scientific evidence is still unclear if it really is the cats that are wrecking havoc on bird populations. Some studies suggest that cats actually help by keeping rodent populations down, which feed on the bird eggs.

In a 2011 survey done by the New Zealand Companion Animal Council, they found that 48 percent of households in New Zealand owned at least one cat, which is significantly higher than any other developed nation. The survey put the total cat population to be at 1.4 million.

For comparison in the U.S., according to a 2012 survey by the American Pet Products Association, 33 percent of households own at least one cat for a total of 86 million domestic cats.

New Zealand overrun with cats: Anti Cat Campaign

New Zealand has one of the highest rates of cat ownership in the world, and at the same time the slackest and most irresponsible laws dealing with cat control. In fact there are no laws.

Cats kill an estimated 27 million birds annually here in New Zealand, which is over half a million per week, or roughly 75000 per day.

We here in NZ have not yet learned that, when we chose a cat as a pet with the intention of letting it roam free, we are making an important moral decision that will impact the lives of many of our fellow creatures.


Environmentalist. Consumer Tech Journalist. Science Explorer. And, a dreamer. I've been contributing informative news content since 2010. Follow me on all socials!

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  1. Mike Smith

    January 22, 2013 at 7:41 pm

    Will there be any encouragement to replace companion animals with native wildlife?

  2. hannah shepherd

    January 22, 2013 at 12:56 pm

    Cats are the only species besides mankind that torture, maim and kill for “sport”. They carry fleas and all manner of disgusting diseased which they can give to dogs. Dhey’re dreadful beasts. Cats have to GO!

    • abatap

      January 22, 2013 at 2:06 pm

      And this is why women shouldn’t be allowed to vote or hold public office

    • Eric

      January 22, 2013 at 3:49 pm

      abatap Agreed. It is an animal people. Cats are predators. That’s what they do they hunt and kill things. Birds, rodents, lizards, other cats. Its what happens in the wild it’s what happens in the backyard. If they get rid of the cats in 10 years there going to be bitching about how many fucking birds are all over the place. Shitting all over everything. We should get rid of the birds. But why because there doing what birds do……LIVE just like cats. At the same time New Zealands problem is that everyone there is a cat addict. They have more cats per person then anywhere else in the world. So maybe a limitation to the amount of cats a person can have would be the answer. NOT get rid of all the cats. THINK BEFORE YOU TALK

    • Sgt Shepherd

      January 22, 2013 at 5:30 pm

      Yeah because Dogs are naturally resistant to fleas and diseases and the only way they can get such a problem is coming into contact with cats…… god you sound like a complete idiot. You’re just another person with a low education level spouting shite they don’t really know anything about. I say this not to defend cats but to point out your ignorance, because obviously uneducated people who talk shite like you p**s me off.

  3. Robert White

    January 22, 2013 at 12:54 pm

    This round brown body opening part who wants to get rid of cats says nothing about getting rid of humans who destroy more wildlife and each other more than any cat ever thought of doing. He is a loud mouth who likes to hear himself.

  4. Rohan

    January 22, 2013 at 11:59 am

    The white people their nearly wiped out the Maori’s….think it is time to kill all the white people on the island.

    • hannah shepherd

      January 22, 2013 at 12:51 pm

      I agree. Cats are evil killers. Get rid of them!

    • abatap

      January 22, 2013 at 2:06 pm

      The maoris were and still are savages, we should slaughter people like you Rohan!

  5. karen harcourt

    January 22, 2013 at 11:58 am

    I think someone should invent a type of bell that gives off a pitch that can’t be heard well by people, but can be heard well for birds and rodents.

  6. Len

    January 22, 2013 at 11:47 am

    If New Zealand wants to control feral cats then import some coyotes. We had a feral cat problem — killing the songbirds, then the coyotes moved in and killed the cats, and now the songbirds are back. The problem is that there is no predator balance.

  7. Dave

    January 22, 2013 at 11:31 am

    D’aww… they are nature’s fuzziest little killers!

  8. Max

    January 22, 2013 at 11:28 am

    Let’s rid the world of economists. They’re noisier, more tiresome and far less useful than cats.

    • Mr. happiness

      January 22, 2013 at 11:39 am

      That is the best idea I have ever heard. Keep the cats, get rid of this doomsayer who only needs to be right one time in his life.

      By the way, my cat thinks he sucks.

  9. Jeremy

    January 22, 2013 at 11:23 am

    Isn’t this how the Black Plague started?

    also, why not just encourage owners to keep cats indoors? problem solved..

    • j

      January 22, 2013 at 12:10 pm

      Yes, cat owners should keep their cats indoors. In some places it’s the law. Yet, they don’t. Cat owners aren’t typically thoughtful or responsible.

    • JoeyJoJo

      January 22, 2013 at 8:30 pm

      Admit it, you didn’t read the full article did you? lol

  10. Renee

    January 22, 2013 at 11:17 am

    Maybe someone should abolish mankind since we are responsible for habitat destruction, wildlife extinction, polution, etc. The measurement of destruction for cat vs. human is not even close. Mankind takes the lead by a landslide.

    • You are retarded

      January 22, 2013 at 12:31 pm

      You sound like a total moron when you talk like that, not sayin you are a moron. But that is the most irresponsible and most disgusting thing I will ever hear a person say. You miss the point by leauges and you clearly have little understanding of what is really going on. Please thing before you speak on such subjects and say things like “well maybe ppl should all just die” you sound like a jerk.

  11. Zack

    January 22, 2013 at 11:15 am

    I have complex ptsd….alot of it was from cat.hoarding done by my parents. The diseased ultimately rotted their eyes.. I burried so many cats, i ran out of room. My yard became a feline mass grave. A child should not witness such things. But when abandoned in the forest, the cats taught me to hunt. Noq i have my own home and family, and i still own multiple cats, with no plans to acquire more

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Facial Recognition To Be Used In Panda Conservation

A group of researchers in China have develop an app to track pandas using facial recognition technology. Click To Tweet



A group of researchers in China have develop an app to track pandas using facial recognition technology.
There are currently 67 panda nature reserves in China, an increase of 27 since the last report. Photo: WWF Website

While facial recognition technology is widely frowned upon when used against humans, it could be an ally for conservators of giant pandas in China.

A group of researchers from the China Conservation and Research Centre for Giant Pandas have developed an app that could recognize individual pandas using facial recognition technology. The app will draw from more than 120,000 images and video clips of giant pandas to identify the animals that are living in the wild.

According to a census conducted last 2004 by the Chinese government, there are approximately 1,864 pandas live in the wild. That’s a 16.8% increase since the last survey released in 2003. The country has taken a proactive role in conservation efforts, announcing last year that it would build a 10,476-square-mile panda reserve called the Giant Panda National Park at the cost of at least 10 billion yuan ($1.45 billion).

“The latest rise in the estimate is particularly encouraging, as the 2004 increase was in large part down to researchers using better techniques and surveying a wider area. The new figures show that the hard work of the Chinese government, local communities, nature reserve staff, and WWF is paying off,” wrote WWF.

Camera traps in China have captured images and video footage of giant pandas that are often difficult to see in the wild. The photographs and video are some of the most amazing photos ever of pandas and other species in their remote habitat, which were caught on film as part of long-term wildlife monitoring projects set up in panda nature reserves by the Chinese government and WWF.

Camera trap footage of a Giant Panda scenting a tree is marking his territory to attract female pandas. © Anzihe Nature Reserve

“These photos offer a fascinating glimpse into the lives of giant pandas, as well as other animals, which are difficult to see in the wild,” says Dr. Sybille Klenzendorf, managing director of WWF’s species program. “They demonstrate that by saving the iconic giant panda, we secure a vibrant future for other incredible wildlife, wild places, and people – it’s the best kind of win-win proposition.”

The development of the new facial recognition app will presumably help conservationist monitor their programs by keeping track of how many pandas are left. It will also provide significant insight regarding the breeding program that conservationist has been implementing to encourage an increase in the panda population.

“he app and database will help us gather more precise and well-rounded data on the population, distribution, ages, gender ratio, birth and deaths of wild pandas, who live in deep mountains and are hard to track,” Chen Peng, a researcher at the China Conservation and Research Center for Giant Pandas, said.

This is not the first time that facial recognition technology has been used against animals. According to several reports, facial technology has been used in Italy as part of an app that can match photos of lost pets from those that are in shelters and to determine a cat apart from other feline species.

Nonetheless, the use of facial technology in China is a complicated issue. Many nations have been vocal in their accusations that the Chinese government and Xi Jinping is using the technology against people’s consent for the government to spy on its citizens.

Meanwhile, facial recognition technology is also something frowned upon in Western governments. Last week, San Francisco, one of the technology capitals of the world, has voted to ban the police and city agencies from using facial recognition technologies against their people. The groundbreaking vote aims to become a model in other city and states as San Francisco recognizes the harms that an unregulated technology can have over people’s privacy.

The science and tech community has not failed to become wary over facial recognition technology and has urged companies to stop selling their versions of the technology to law enforcement agencies. Recently, a study from the Georgetown Law School has revealed that police have been feeding images of celebrities and composite and computer-generated suspect sketches to the facial recognition system to generate possible matches.

While using the technology on animals does not necessarily have direct harms, many experts have argued that governments can use the camera set up for animal facial recognition systems against humans and could be exploited. Nevertheless, the possible use of facial recognition by conservators might be the hope of the giant panda population.

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Warming Oceans Threaten Global Fisheries, Study Reveals



Our fisheries are facing the consequences of global warming through warming oceans

People have depended on fish and other seafood for sustenance since the prehistoric people learned how to fish. Early civilizations are built in river banks and coastal regions because fishing is much sustainable the hunting. However, as society progress, the more than fishes and other marine animals become at risk. Thanks to climate change.

This reality was revealed by the extensive analysis of recent trends in marine biodiversity. The increasing temperatures in seas have reduced the productivity of some fisheries by 15% to 35% over the last eight decades, although there are fish species that are thriving in warm waters.

According to the study, the net effect is that the world’s oceans cannot produce as much sustainable seafood as before. It also warns that the situation is likely to worsen as the problem is quickly accelerating in the oceans.

However, the study also suggests that well-managed fisheries are thriving and have become more resilient to the rising water temperature, says Rainer Froese, a marine ecologist with the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research in Kiel, Germany, who was not involved in the work. “We have to stop overfishing to let the gene pool survive, so that [the fish] can adapt to climate change,” he says. “We have to give them a break.”

As cold-blooded animals, fish mirror the temperature of the water they swim in. When the water gets too warm, the enzymes they use for digestion and other functions are less efficient, impairing growth and reproduction. Also, warm water contains less oxygen, a further stressor.

Despite these well-known problems, only a few scientists have looked into the impact of climate change on the world’s oceans in terms of fishery production.
Chris Free, a fisheries scientist, dove into the topic for his dissertation at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey. He created a computer model of the way fish populations respond to temperature, relying on a large database of scientific assessments of stocks that represent roughly a third of the fish caught around the world. Free, now a postdoc at the University of California, Santa Barbara, looked for patterns of how these stocks had responded to changes in sea surface temperature.

“Managing a stock of fish, in simple terms, is like withdrawing cash from a bank account that earns interest. Each year, a certain amount can be caught by fishing boats without depleting the stock—that portion is known as the maximum sustainable yield. A more productive fishery—where the water temperature is optimal and food plentiful, for example—is like a bank account with a higher interest rate, which means more fish can be sustainably caught.” said Erik Stokstad in an article published in ScienceMag.

The study of Free and his colleagues revealed that: “Out of 235 stocks, Free and his colleagues found a few winners. Nine stocks had become on average 4% more productive. These stocks are in places where rising temperatures have made too-cold water more suitable for fish, such as far north and south of the equator. Off the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador in Canada, for example, the maximum sustainable yield has increased by 14% since 1930. And fishing there could get even better. According to the new research, the productivity of Greenland halibut will increase 51% with each degree Celsius of warming. That’s like getting a big, fat boost to the interest rate on your saving account.”

“This local good news is outweighed by 19 stocks elsewhere that are on average 8% less productive than before. Many of these are around northern Europe and Japan, and they will likely continue to decline as their environment continues to heat up. Boats chasing Atlantic cod in the Irish Sea face a particularly grim future: The maximum sustainable yield of this stock will shrink by 54% for each additional degree of warming, the team reports today in Science.”

According to Free, the overall decline will most likely to steepen. Since 1930, average sea surface temperatures have risen by about 0.5°C. By the end of this century, more than three times that amount of warming will likely happen, and marine heat waves will become more frequent. Although temperatures will become more favorable to fish in higher latitude waters, “those benefits can’t last forever,” Free says. “There probably is a tipping point.”

Fishes, however, are not the only animals that are being threatened by climate change. Scientists have also said that because of a killer fungi, frogs are starting to become extinct. The rapid increase in rainforest temperature even more empowered the killer fungi. Insects are also in fast decline due to climate change. This serves as a scary reminder of the future we reap if we continue our path to unsustainable tomorrow.

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11-Meter-Long Dead Whale Found In Brazilian Jungle



11-Meter-Long Dead Whale Found In Brazilian Jungle

On February 22, an 11-meter-long and 6-meters wide humpback whale was found dead in the middle of the undergrowth of the forest of Pará, a Brazilian municipality located on the island of Marajó, at the mouth of the Amazon River.

Yes, a whale was found in the jungle, away from its natural habitat.

The discovery of the dead whale caused the Municipal Secretariat of Health, Sanitation, and Environment to launch an investigation to determine why the marine animal was found in an ecosystem away from its own and in the winter season.

The colossal animal reportedly had no visible wounds and biologists Bicho D’agua, a marine protection NGO, said that an autopsy is required to determine the cause of death.

Humpback whales are fed seasonally; it is possible that not finding food will migrate to the beach and swallowing large amounts of water will suffocate with plastics , being later his body pushed by the waves of the sea into the jungle.

“We only found the whale because of the presence of scavenging birds of prey,” said Dirlene Silva from the Department of Health, Sanitation, and Environment.

‘The vultures were spotted circling above the carcass which was found hidden in the bush some distance from the sea.’ 

A team of ten biologists struggled to reach the body of the whale at the first attempt and were only able to reach it at the second try.

Biologists from the Bicho D’agua Institute have been called in to collect forensic samples to determine the cause of death. 

The gigantic animal was believed to be already dead when it was carried by the waves to the jungle.

‘Along with this astonishing feat, we are baffled as to what a humpback whale is doing on the north coast of Brazil during February because this is a very unusual occurrence.’ the team announced.

According to the expert, humpback whales are typically seen in Bahia on the northeast coast between August to November. 

‘We are collecting as much information as we can get and identifying marks and wounds on its body to see if it was caught in a net or hit by a boat.’

For now, there are no plans to remove the hulk due to the size, weight, and location. Instead, researchers intend to bury much of carcass, and the skeleton will be sent to the Goeldi Natural History Museum in Belem for future studies. /apr

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