North Canterbury, New Zealand – Backlash has prompted the cancellation of a children’s feral cat hunting competition that was underway in New Zealand. The North Canterbury Hunting Competition explains why they canceled the children’s portion of the hunting competition, writing:
Unfortunately, there have been some vile & inappropriate emails and messages sent to the school and others involved – we are incredibly disappointed in this reaction and would like to clarify that this competition is an independent community run event and that all queries and concerns to be sent directly through us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Our sponsors and school safety are our main priority, so the decision has been made to withdraw this category for this year to avoid further backlash at this time. We are disappointed and apologise for those who were excited to be involved in something that is about protecting out native birds, and other vulnerable species.
The competition would have awarded kids 14 and under who killed the most feral cats. But the SPCA Canterbury had expressed concerns for pet cats who may have been accidentally killed in the cat-killing competition. On Monday the agency said:
It’s not possible to tell the difference between a feral, stray or frightened domestic cat based on appearance, so there is a good chance someone’s pet may be killed during this event. In addition, children often use air rifles in these sorts of event which increase the likelihood of pain and distress, and can cause a prolonged death. Our SPCA Inspector Lead here in Christchurch says cases of cats being shot which don’t result in immediate death aren’t uncommon, with one happening just yesterday, 17 April.
Comments on the Hunting Competition Facebook page are largely in favor of killing cats who threaten birds, while comments on the SPCA Facebook page are against the competition, citing the threat to pet cats, and the danger of teaching children that it is okay to shoot and kill cats.
What are your thoughts about this competition? Feel free to weigh in with your thoughts in the comment section.
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