NZ Environmentalist: Get Rid of Killer Pet Cats
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Gareth Morgan has a simple dream: a New Zealand free of pet cats that threaten native birds. But the environmentalist has triggered a claws-out backlash with his new anti-feline campaign. (Jan. 23)


DURATION: 1:20-----------------------------------------SHOTLIST:TVNZ - NO ACCESS NEW ZEALANDWellington and Auckland, New Zealand - Jan. 22, 2013VOICE-OVER SCRIPT:NEW ZEALAND ENVIRONMENTALIST, GARETH MORGAN HAS A SIMPLE DREAM: RID THE COUNTRY OF PET CATS. ON TUESDAY HE LAUNCHED A WEBSITE CALLED "CATS TO GO" DEPICTING THE PETS AS NATURAL BORN KILLERS TO NATIVE BIRD SPECIES. CONSERVATIONIST KEVIN HACKWELL AGREES CATS POSE A THREAT TO OTHER ANIMALS. Soundbite:Kevin Hackwell, Conservationist "We should put a bell on them. The research has shown that if you put a bell even on good hunters, you can halve the number of animals that they kill."Do you need to have three of four cats? Some people have 10 or 12. Can you get away with one cat? And if you've got a cat, and you like your native birds, when your cat goes and dies, do you need to replace it?" BUT IT MAY BE HARD TO CONVINCE A CAT- LOVING NATION TO GIVE UP THEIR PETS.SURVEYS SHOW ALMOST HALF OF ALL NEW ZEALAND HOUSEHOLDS OWN CATS - HIGHER THAN MOST COUNTRIES IN THE DEVELOPED WORLD. THESE PET-OWNERS SAY THEY ARE AGAINST THE ANTI-CAT CAMPAIGN.SOUNDBITE: (English) Brian Rusbridge, Cat owner: "It's a bit of a shock, really. I don't like the idea at all." SOUNDBITE: (English) Alison Rusbridge, Cat owner: "I think it's cruel because cats provide a lot of companionship for people."SOUNDBITE: (English) Bob Kerridge, President of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA): "People consider cats to be one of the family. Is Gareth Morgan going to tell us who we can have in our family? I don't think so."BY THE END OF TUESDAY, MORGAN'S SITE SHOWED SOME 70 PERCENT ARE VOTING AGAINST MAKING THEIR CURRENT CAT THEIR LAST. SIGOUT - Name/Associated Press