New Zealand city forces all cats to be microchipped

Cat owners will be forced to microchip their pets after councillors in New Zealand's capital voted for the measure to protect the city's birdlife, local media reported Thursday.

Wellington is to become the first city in the country to make it compulsory for owners to have a microchip the size of a grain of rice injected under their cat's skin, serving as a permanent method of identification.

Local cat organization Feline Rights was against the decision, saying the council was planning to set up "kill zones" for unidentified cats found on reserve land.

“It will be open season on any cats that just happen to wander onto council reserve land,” the organization said.

Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown said the organization’s claims were exaggerated and that 83 per cent of cat owners supported the idea of their pets being microchipped.

Wellington is home to the Zealandia animal sanctuary which has some of the country’s rarest native birds.

The birds are vulnerable to attacks from cats whenever they fly outside of the sanctuary's protective fence.

The council earlier rejected plans to introduce a curfew on the city’s 20,000 to 30,000 cats.

If the law is passed, cat owners will have 18 months to microchip their pets.

Last update: Thu, 04/08/2016 - 11:20
Author: 

More from World

Trump says he doesn't like tweeting, then tweets some more

More than 20 million people follow Donald Trump's Twitter account, but the US president-elect seems to consider...

Colombia reaches deal to begin peace talks with ELN rebels

Colombia and the ELN (National Liberation Army) rebel group have reached an agreement to begin peace negotiations...

Trump's UN ambassador pick expresses concern about Israel's treatment

South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, Donald Trump's pick to serve as US ambassador to the UN, expressed concern...

Liberation of east Mosul nearly complete, Iraq's al-Abadi says

Iraqi security forces are close to ending Islamic State resistance on the east bank of the Tigris river in Mosul,...

Presidential powers: What Trump can and can't do

The powers of US presidents are relatively constrained, legally, compared to leaders in many other democracies.