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Animals 2017, 7(7), 49; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani7070049

A Survey of Public Opinion on Cat (Felis catus) Predation and the Future Direction of Cat Management in New Zealand

1
New Zealand Companion Animal Council, P.O. Box 4, Waiuku, Auckland 2341, New Zealand
2
Environmental and Animal Sciences Network, Unitec Institute of Technology, Auckland 1025, New Zealand
3
Royal New Zealand Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, 3047 Great North Road, New Lynn, Auckland 0610, New Zealand
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 24 February 2017 / Revised: 19 June 2017 / Accepted: 25 June 2017 / Published: 3 July 2017
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Abstract

Cat predation is a prominent issue in New Zealand that provokes strong and opposing views. We explored, via 1011 face-to-face questionnaires, public opinion on (a) support for a National Cat Management Strategy (78% support); (b) concern regarding predation of wildlife by owned and un-owned cats (managed stray, unmanaged stray, and feral cats); (c) the acceptability of management techniques for owned cats; and (d) the acceptability of population management techniques for un-owned cats. The highest concern was expressed regarding the predation of non-native and native wildlife by feral cats (60 and 86% repectively), followed by unmanaged stray cats (59 and 86% respectively), managed stray cats (54 and 82% respectively), and finally owned cats (38 and 69% repectively). Limits to the number of cats owned and cat restriction zones received high levels of support (>65%), and compulsory microchipping, Council registration, and de-sexing were supported by the majority (>58%). Public support of population control methods for unowned cats was explored, and the influence of participant demographic variables on responses is described. These findings provide insight into public opinion regarding the management of cats in New Zealand, which should be considered during the development of legislation in this area. View Full-Text
Keywords: companion cat; cat management; cat predation; feral cat; stray cat; National Cat Management Strategy; New Zealand; public opinion companion cat; cat management; cat predation; feral cat; stray cat; National Cat Management Strategy; New Zealand; public opinion
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Walker, J.K.; Bruce, S.J.; Dale, A.R. A Survey of Public Opinion on Cat (Felis catus) Predation and the Future Direction of Cat Management in New Zealand. Animals 2017, 7, 49.

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