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Stop New Zealand's Inhumane Cat Slaughter Contest

2,391 signatures toward our 30,000 Goal

7.97% Complete

Sponsor: The Animal Rescue Site

Join us in stopping the cruel North Canterbury Hunting Competition, where children are encouraged to kill feral cats for cash prizes, promoting wonton violence and animal suffering.


In North Canterbury, New Zealand, an annual event is sparking international outrage and urgent calls for change. The North Canterbury Hunting Competition, which encourages participants to hunt feral cats and other animals, has seen nearly 400 cats killed this year alone1.

This event, involving children as young as 14, raises serious ethical and safety concerns.

The Brutality of the Competition

The competition began as a local wild pig hunting contest but expanded to include animals such as deer, possums, and rabbits. Recently, feral cats have become targets due to their perceived threat to New Zealand’s biodiversity1. Organizers argue that feral cats, which prey on native birds, lizards, and insects, need to be controlled to protect endangered species.

However, this approach is neither humane nor justified. Nearly 1,500 participants, including 460 children, took part in this year’s event3. Cash prizes were offered for those who killed the most cats and the largest cat. One participant killed 65 cats, winning a $500 prize, while the largest cat fetched a $1,000 reward3.

Impact on Children and Society

Involving children in such violent activities is profoundly concerning. Witnessing and participating in the killing of animals can lead to trauma, desensitization to violence, and a skewed understanding of ethical behavior. Children were seen taunting protesters by swinging dead cats and chanting "meat, meat, meat"4.

Such behavior fosters a dangerous disconnect from empathy and respect for life.

Critics argue that involving young, inexperienced hunters increases the risk of mistakenly killing domestic pets4. Last year, a category for children under 14 was scrapped following public uproar. Despite these concerns, children still participated in this year's event under stricter supervision.

The Need for Humane Solutions

The clash between conservation goals and animal rights has created a complex and contentious issue. New Zealand’s Department of Conservation supports the culling of feral cats, citing their significant threat to native wildlife3. However, the methods employed and the involvement of children in such violent activities have sparked widespread debate.

Clearly, more humane methods should be explored, but that will require greater emphasis on responsible pet ownership and sterilization programs to prevent the growth of feral cat populations3. Comprehensive strategies must balance the protection of native species with ethical treatment of animals.

Take Action Now

The North Canterbury Hunting Competition must end. It is crucial to protect our children from the damaging effects of participating in such violent activities and to ensure humane treatment of animals. By signing this petition, you can help stop this cruel competition and promote more humane and effective solutions for wildlife management.

Join us in calling for an end to the North Canterbury Hunting Competition. Sign the petition today and make a difference for a more compassionate and ethical future.

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The Petition:

To the Members of New Zealand’s Department of Conservation,

We, the undersigned, urgently call for an immediate end to the North Canterbury Hunting Competition. This annual event, which encourages the hunting and killing of feral cats and other animals for cash prizes, raises significant ethical and human safety concerns, particularly involving the participation of children.

It is imperative to approach wildlife management with humanity and compassion. The North Canterbury Hunting Competition not only promotes the brutal killing of animals but also desensitizes participants, especially children, to violence. Encouraging children as young as 14 to hunt and kill animals fosters a dangerous disconnect from empathy and respect for life. These formative experiences can lead to long-term negative psychological impacts, normalizing cruelty and aggression.

Involving children in such violent activities is profoundly concerning. Witnessing and participating in the killing of animals can lead to trauma, desensitization to violence, and a skewed understanding of ethical behavior. Encouraging children to swing dead cats at protesters, as reported, highlights a troubling lack of respect and compassion being instilled in young minds. This exposure to brutality can have lasting detrimental effects on their emotional and psychological development.

We urge the Department of Conservation to take immediate action to end the North Canterbury Hunting Competition. Instead, we advocate for humane and effective alternatives to manage the feral cat population, such as trap-neuter-return programs. By promoting responsible pet ownership, sterilization programs, and compassionate conservation efforts, we can protect native wildlife without compromising our humanity or the well-being of our children.

Ending this competition will not only protect the animals but also ensure a safer and more compassionate environment for future generations. Let us work together to foster a culture of respect, empathy, and responsible stewardship of our environment.

Together, we can ensure a better future for all.

Sincerely,

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Signatures: