NewsNew Zealand's cat-killing contest sparks global outrage

New Zealand's cat‑killing contest sparks global outrage

Competition for killing cats in New Zealand
Competition for killing cats in New Zealand
Images source: © Canva

4 July 2024 19:09

The controversial contest, which occurs annually in New Zealand, has again captured the world's attention. This is because the event involves killing cats, and children regularly participate. As expected, the event has sparked another debate between the organisers and animal rights activists.

Many countries have traditions or behaviours other nations may find unusual, strange, or dangerous. Bullfighting in Spain or Mexico often attracts criticism from people around the world. Italians can’t fathom how anyone could eat pizza with ketchup or garlic sauce, and the British are perplexed by those who dislike tea with milk. However, New Zealand seems to have taken absurdity to a new level.

New Zealand faces a persistent issue each year, namely stray cats, which exist in such large numbers that they threaten the ecosystem. The authorities struggle to manage these roaming animals. As a result, they devised a peculiar, unusual, and rather drastic solution. Every summer, contests are organised to kill as many stray cats as possible. Notably, children participate in this "game" and receive rewards for their efforts.

An unusual contest in which cats lose their lives

The competition takes place in the rural areas of the Canterbury region. The event combines fundraising for the local community with hunting rabbits, ducks, or possums. In 2023, a category was added to the contest, which is cats. This decision outraged animal rights activists, but from the organiser Matt Bailey, they heard that cats carry diseases and pose a threat, and therefore can be captured. During this year's event, 340 cats lost their lives, many of which were juveniles. We remind you that children participated in this activity.

Due to the gruesome nature of the photograph posted on "," we will not show it here. It depicts cats hanging dead on a fence, with people around admiring the "trophies." Each of them was generously rewarded. According to, in the contest price list, £270 (approximately 1200 PLN) is awarded to the person who hunts the most cats, and £540 (over 2400 PLN) to the one who captures the largest animal.

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