New Zealand: More than 370 cats killed in controversial hunt

New Zealand: More than 370 cats killed in controversial hunt

A controversial cat-killing contest in North Canterbury, New Zealand, has sparked outrage among animal rights activists.

The event, which was attended by 1,500 people, including 440 children under the age of 14 who were not admitted, resulted in the deaths of 370 wild cats over the weekend, the New Zealand Herald reported Monday.

Originally a large charity hunt to raise money for a local school, which only catered to deer, pigs, ducks, opossums and rabbits, this hunt is also open to wild cats.

“Unfortunately, New Zealand is a cat-loving country, so we've had some controversy from different groups,” event organiser Matt Bailey told local media.

Animal rights groups demonstrated at the site to denounce these hunting operations in which even children participated, while the organizers defended themselves by reminding that domestic cats were not targeted by the “hunters.”

However, the hunters' camp and Animal Rescue Movement activists want new legislation on sterilizing and abandoning domestic cats, according to New Zealand media.

From the hunt, which was organized last weekend, about 60,000 New Zealand dollars (about 50,000 US dollars) were raised, while one hunter who caught the largest cats received a reward of 1,000 US dollars, while another who killed 65 cats received half.

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