Pet cats could be banned from a region in New Zealand as part of radical new proposals designed to protect native wildlife.
Under Environment Southland’s “pest plan”, cat owners in the small coastal village of Omaui will have to neuter, microchip and register their pets with the local authority.
After their cat dies, they will not be allowed to get another.
The proposals have angered local residents, who accused the council of behaving “like a police state”.
But the local authority want to protect 230 hectares of lowland and forest on Omauri that is home to small native birds including the fantail, brown creeper, grey warbler and shining cuckoo kingfisher, as well as larger ones such as the tui.