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Campbell Live

SPCA's trap, neuter, release programme

Thursday 31 Jan 2013 4:25 p.m.

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Perched on a scrubby hillside above a rusty rail yard is the Parnell cat colony.

This is one spot the SPCA runs a trap, neuter, release programme.

Stray cats are caught, desexed, and returned to the area.

Volunteers have erected fences, built shelters and provided toys for the many stray cats that live there.

Some of the animals don’t appear to be in the best health, but the volunteers that look after them say the cats are happy and healthy.

“The cats are not released into the wild – they are released into carefully managed colonies […] where they are fed, given shelter and human companionship,” a spokesperson told Campbell Live.

Gareth Morgan claimed this “catch, neuter and release” tactic means there are lots of cats out there catching birds.

But SPCA executive director Bob Kerridge told Campbell Live less than 1 percent of cats’ prey are native birds, and only 50 percent of cats actually hunt.

“Their preferred diet are rats, vermin, coming up shortly cicadas, lizards, and that’s generally what they hunt, and birds are well down the list.”

He recommends people de-sex and microchip their cats.

But he says the SPCA is not going to start euthanizing the colony cats, as per Mr Morgan’s suggestion.

“We’re not in the habit of euthanizing healthy animals, these are healthy animals, they deserve a life.”

Watch the video for the full story.

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