New Zealand stray cat killing race canceled after backlash

WELLINGTON – A contest for children to hunt feral cats in New Zealand has been called off following public outcry, with major animal welfare groups hailing the decision on Wednesday.

The organizers of the annual hunting competition have announced a new category for children under the age of 14 to hunt feral cats, with a top prize of 250 New Zealand dollars (S$207) to be won.

The category, which warned young people not to kill their pets, has been scrapped, organizers said in a statement Tuesday.

The New Zealand Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said it was “satisfied and relieved that the child category involving shooting stray cats has been removed.”

“Children, like adults, will be unable to tell the difference between a feral cat, a feral cat, and a frightened domestic cat,” said an SPCA spokesperson.

The overall competition, which runs alongside other categories for hunting wild boar and deer, is run as a fundraiser by Rotherham School on the country’s South Island.

Organizers said “vile and inappropriate emails” were sent “to schools and officials.”

“The safety of our sponsors and schools is our number one priority, so the decision was made to withdraw this category this year to avoid further backlash,” the organizers wrote on Facebook. I’m here.

Feral cats are a pest in New Zealand, having a major impact on native birds, bats, lizards, mice and insects, according to the Department of Conservation. AFPMore New Zealand stray cat killing race canceled after backlash

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