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Gareth Morgan's anti-cat campaign goes global

Published: 9:50AM Wednesday January 23, 2013 Source: ONE News

Economist Gareth Morgan's campaign to eradicate cats from New Zealand is attracting interest from around the world.

The controversial proposal to help protect native bird species is being reported by several sources including Britain's Guardian website, the Toronto Star, The Voice of Russia and Businessweek.

"New Zealand cat lovers pounce on eradication campaign," claims the Guardian's headline with hundreds of readers commenting on Morgan's plans.

While Businessweek's headline reads: "NZ to eradicate pet cats? Purr-ish the thought!"

The comments on the Guardian reflect the divided opinions ONE News received on the issue.

"No brainer. Would you let your dog roam around, breeding indiscriminately and killing wildlife? I suggest not," Viridis wrote, only to be quickly rebuked by cat lover 'rootsfi':

"So you're saying i should keep my cat on a leash when she goes outside? i'll post the video on youtube it'll be hilarious. :)"

Morgan's Cats to Go campaign encourages cat owners not to replace their cats when they die in order to protect native bird species.

The website says a New Zealand without cats would be "a New Zealand teeming with native wildlife".

However, cat lovers took to social media to express their anger at the campaign, posting on Twitter and setting up anti-Gareth Morgan pages .

The majority of commenters on the ONE News Facebook page were not keen on the idea, with many suggesting rats and possums are a much bigger threat to native birds than their cats.

Beth Martinovich posted: "Gareth concentrate on being an economist, not a cat eradicator, would be far better to eradicate rats and possums wouldn't it?"

"Mess with my cat and I will mess with you," said Brooke Gardner.

But not everyone was against Morgan's campaign.

"I'd be all for that. Makes a lot of sense," said Adam Taylor on the ONE News Facebook page.

While Regan Gibbons tweeted: "Despite going about it completely the wrong way, Gareth Morgan is highlighting a massive issue that Kiwis prefer to ignore #catstogo"

What are your thoughts on Gareth Morgan's proposal? Have your say using your Facebook login.