SPCA shocked by Trade Me cat skin

  • 01/06/2013

The SPCA says it's disgusted by a man's decision to kill a cat, skin it and list it on Trade Me.

The seller says he shot the cat humanely after he saw it killing chickens on his property, but the SPCA says the man could face prosecution.

Bird breeder Gavin Wilkinson says the cat was responsible for killing 10 of his birds, so he trapped it and shot it in the head.

"This one was taking my baby chickens, probably about two a day, day after day," he says. "I watched it and made sure it was a feral cat, and I put the cage out there and caught him."

Mr Wilkinson says he skinned the cat because he wanted to use it to show people what he'd caught killing his free-range chickens. But recently he decided to sell it on Trade Me instead.

But as well as buyers, it attracted the attention of the SPCA.

"I find it quite disgusting and certainly of great concern that animals are treated this way," says Bob Kerridge of the SPCA.

Mr Kerridge says it can be extremely hard to tell if a cat is feral or just a stray, and if the cat wasn't wild, and was killed inhumanely, Mr Wilkinson could be charged under the Animal Wefare Act and be fined up to $10,000.

"A stray cat, because it's frightened, may hiss," says Mr Kerridge. "It may give the impression of being wild, mainly because it's frightened in its environment. It probably was a domestic cat one day."

Mr Kerridge is also surprised by the amount of support Mr Wilkinson received on Trade Me, and is concerned his actions could start a trend.

But there were a lot of angry cat lovers furious with Mr Wilkinson.

Mr Wilkinson admits he's killed other cats before, but is adamant they've all been feral and the killings have been humane. He says the welfare of his animals is important too.

"I've put so much time and effort into breeding these birds and keeping them alive, and these cats come in and maul the birds and they die a horrible death," says Mr Wilkinson.

Mr Wilkinson made $70 off the cat skin on Trade Me – a price he says was not worth the backlash.

3 News

source: newshub archive