You may think of cats as fluffy companions hoping to has a cheezburger, but to New Zealand economist Gareth Morgan, they're bloodthirsty menaces.
Morgan is hoping to eliminate feline foes from the country with his Cats To Go campaign. He thinks a cat is a "friendly neighbourhood serial killer" that preys on native wildlife such as kiwi birds and bats. Cats To Go says that 40 per cent of New Zealand’s native land-birds are extinct, with another 37 per cent endangered.
"The average cat brings home 13 pieces of prey each year. But this is only one in five of their kills. Cats eat a third of what they kill, and leave half of them to rot," says the campaign's website.
That makes for a lot of dead critters since it turns out that New Zealanders really love cats. Forty-eight per cent of households in New Zealand own at least one.
Morgan claims that getting rid of New Zealand's cats would improve native bird life and bring birdsong back to the country's cities. He's not, however, proposing a mass kitty slaughter (although he says euthanasia "is an option"). Rather, he's hoping that cat owners will use bell collars, keep their cats indoors at all times and not get a new pet when their's goes to the big litter box in the sky.
The campaign doesn't appear very effective so far, with 72 per cent of respondents to a poll on the Cats To Go website saying they would not consider letting their current cat be their last.
See the finer details of the campaign yourself with this Cats To Go infographic:
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