After cancelling the category due to public backlash, the North Canterbury Hunting Competition have bought back the feral cat hunting category.

The category has new rules. Hunters will receive one entry into a prize draw for each feral cat thats entered the category. Cats may only be hunted with box traps and can only be killed using a minimum of a .22 rifle.

SAFE spokesperson Will Appelbe says there is still a significant risk that someone’s pet will be killed.

“I highly doubt these people will be carrying microchip scanners to identify these cats,” says Appelbe.

“Even if they did have scanners, they may not be able to use them. Companion cats can act feral when they’re trapped in a cage, making identification very difficult.”

“At the end of the day, is little to no difference in the physical appearance of feral, stray and pet cats.”

“There are far more effective strategies to protect native wildlife from cats, like mandatory desexing, registration and microchipping. We also need more funding for rescue and adoption programmes.”

“Indiscriminately killing cats considered feral and wild is inherently cruel and not a realistic solution.”

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