Should all cats wear a bell-collar?

According to statistics, there are 8.1 million cats in the UK that kill 275 million “prey items” per year, with 55 million of those thought to be birds.

A book about the destructive impact of domestic cats on wildlife has sent fur flying, setting its authors at loggerheads with British conservationists over whether the country’s moggies should be kept under house arrest.

The book, Cat Wars, calls for the activity of cats to be controlled in a bid to conserve global wildlife and prevent the spread of infections and diseases such as toxoplasmosis. “From a conservation ecology perspective, the most desirable solution seems clear – remove all free-ranging cats from the landscape by any means necessary,” the authors write.

Author of the book, Dr Peter Marra, told radio listeners yesterday that cats are “cuddly killers”, and need to be stopped.

The view of cats as murdering menaces is shared by many, including the broadcasters Chris Packham and David Attenborough, who have previously called for owners to keep their pets indoors or kit them out with bell-collars to help prevent them hunting garden birds.

What are your views? Does your cat catch and kill birds or wildlife? Do cats, as natural predators, have a vital role in the food chain? Should cats be kept in at night? Should all cats wear a bell-collar to warn birds? 

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