NEW ZEALAND – New Zealanders who are hoping to move into a new housing estate north of the city of Wellington will have to agree to an unusual condition of purchase – NO CATS ALLOWED!
As we all know, many cat owners have faced the grisly experience of their feline companion coming home with a gift of a dead bird or animal. It is for this very reason that a new housing development in Kapiti is to completely exclude pet cats, Radio New Zealand reports.
The homes in question quite close in proximity to a nature reserve, and it’s feared that the location will prove to be too much temptation for pet cats to attempt to hone the hunting skills that domestication has never quite managed to suppress. There’s already a fence to keep dogs away out of the reserve, but it’s not capable of deterring felines, the radio says.
Local councilor Guru Nathan explained to the Newshub website “If cats got into the sanctuary the result would be devastating” to insects, lizards, and also birds living there.
The homes involved in this ban are selling for up to NZ$600,000 (US$420,000; £316,000), and estate agent Stuart Whyte admits he’s “lost a few sales” because of the no cats covenant. “Locals mainly support the idea but the odd person says it’s ridiculous, asking how can you police it?” he says.
Opposed to the idea is the Feline Rights NZ group, whose secretary, whose name is Pete Rose, told Newshub that the ban along with the Department of Conservation’s trapping of feral cats sets a “disturbing precedent”, which might even lead to “zealot extremist environmentalists given free rein to engage in trapping”.
That’s an argument with which the council that is in Wellington is currently grappling. They’re currently sifting through hundreds of responses to its proposed Animals Bylaw, which also includes a number of rules to stop cats from killing native wildlife, The Dominion Post explains. Among these is a “cat cap”, which could limit the number of cats per household to three, or as low as zero in areas that are classified as environmentally sensitive. This has consequently lead to fears of a “wholesale genocide” of feral animals which made the fur fly among cat lovers, Stuff.co.nz reported back in May.
Despite the tremendous opposition from some quarters, if anybody feels tempted to sneak a cat into the development at Kapiti, estate agent Stuart Whyte explains “You’re likely to be dobbed in by an environmentally savvy neighbor.”