Southland man says he’s killed 170 cats and buried them under vegetable garden
Last updated 14:46, September 7 2018
A Southland man says he has trapped 170 cats on his property and buried them in his vegetable garden.
A Southland man who claims to have 170 cats buried in his vegetable patch says he hasn’t killed any of his neighbour’s pets.
Ian Gamble, of Otatara, a suburb of Invercargill, posted the claim on Environment Southland’s social media page after it announced a proposal to microchip and register cats in some areas.
His first post said “Ban cats in Otatara.”
Southland man Ian Gamble said he had 170 cats in his veggie garden “which was the best place for a cat in a bush suburb.”
Further down the page, he said: “…Cats do not belong in bush suburbs. If they are not banned they should be contained indoors. I have lived here for over 30 years and have 170 cats in my veggie garden, which is the best place for a cat in a bush suburb.”
Gamble said he made the comments to “rark up the cat ladies of Otatara.”
“All the cat ladies look at them [cats] like they are some kind of pariah. I don’t hate cats.
“I’m legally allowed to use a humane kill trap on my property and almost all of the cats were feral.
“When I moved here 30 years ago there weren’t any neighbours here and there were cats everywhere living in the bush. Some of them had three legs and some had serious eye diseases. They were all over my section and were living under my house.
“What was I supposed to do?
He said it was “very unlikely” he would have killed any of his neighbours pets in his traps.
“If there were neighbour’s cats here they were covering a very big area.
“It’s very difficult to catch a cat in a trap if it is well fed. This thing [the trap] is an alien thing to a cat.”
The trap worked by breaking the cat’s neck if it put it’s head in to sniff at bait, he said.
“I’ve never seen anything live through it.”
Gamble said he had never used firearms to kill cats.
“I don’t use guns – it is illegal to use a firearm in the neighbourhood.
Gamble said since he culled the cats, fernbirds have returned to his property, which is in the middle of a reserve.
Environment Southland was carrying out public consultation on its proposed Southland Regional Pest Management Plan, which proposed registering and microchipping cats in some areas and banning residents of Omaui from getting a new cat when their current pet died.
Gamble said he was unsure whether he would make a submission.
“Regional councils spend a while lot of time doing absolutely nothing so I’m not holding my breath about it.”
His comments on the Facebook page riled some other posters, with one vowing to report him to the SPCA.
The Invercargill branch of the SPCA said it was aware of the claim and was investigating.
Envronment Southland’s Regional Pest Management Strategy for Southland lists feral cats as a suppression animal on mainland Southland and Stewart Island/Rakiura and an exclusion animal on offshore and inland islands.
This content was originally published here.