In this series of articles we will be looking into the face of evil. Here we will document horrific injustices against the Cats. If you are one of those people who wring your hands and try not to to think about all of it, wise up! Nothing will change unless each of us looks in the face of it and determines to apply all of our powers to put a stop to it. If you are one of the antifelinists who are engaging yourselves hurting or killing Cats, take notice: We will research, document and publish who each of you are. We will apply all of our powers to effect changes in the law. Then if you continue with your nefarious activities each of you will answer for what you do before the Court.
Ray Spring of Christchurch Cat Control Campaign
There have always been people who hate Cats in the community but organised antifelinism with the support of an ongoing propaganda campaign in the mainstream media is a relatively new development. These days when folks think 'Cat-hater', the first person that comes to mind is Gareth Morgan, however there is one man who preceded Gareth Morgan by at least 6 years, appearing in both written articles and on television news expounding the doctrine of antifelinism.
The infamous Ray Spring of Christchurch Cat Control Campaign has been openly promoting antifelinsim for at least the past decade. In 2007 he appeared on TV3's Nightline demonstrating his preferred method of murdering Cats. Namely, live trapping a Cat and then immersing the caged Cat in a barrel of water, thus drowning the Cat. While he did not actually drown a Cat on camera, a lot of people took issue with the Nightline article and complaints were filed with the Broadcasting Standards Authority, including a complaint from our secretary. BSA declined to uphold our secretary's complaint.
In 2008, the BSA awarded Ray Spring $1500 compensation after ZM radio presenter Iain Stables revealed Ray Spring's residential address to listeners following his appearance on TV3's Nightline where he demonstrated how to drown a Cat.
To quote Iain Stables on air: "We suggest that if you feel how we do that you send something to him to let him know that perhaps you're not very happy... Ray Spring the Cat Hitler, is a cruel, cowardly, disgusting, sickening, shit bag with bad shoes and I'd really love to see him in a cage and immersed too."
This resulted in Ray Spring receiving threatening phone calls and someone hurled a brick through his neighbor's window. Now, while we agree with the radio presenter's description of this nasty little toad, we do not condone threats or bricks being hurled. We of the pro-Cat lobby must be the voice of reason, and uphold the law. If readers become emotive, the challenge is to take that raw emotional force and transmute it into courage, strength and resolve, that we may be set in good stead to defeat the scourge of antifelinsim which has begun to infect the mass mind of the nation.
We've sourced a submission from Ray Spring to Christchurch City Council dated 25th April 2006 which covers his position.
In the following article dated 22 September 2016, Ray Spring is quoted as stating: "I reckon they should knock off all the Cats in the world." Well, we here at Feline Rights reckon Ray needs psychiatric intervention. Get some help Ray!
Wendy Sisson of Cats Unloved
Cats Unloved Charitable Trust was founded in 2002 by Wendy Sisson and the late Kerry Downey, who was sexually assaulted and murdered in 2008 while in the process of collecting an unwanted Cat from a Housing New Zealand estate in Christchurch.
Let's begin with the name of this organisation "Cats Unloved". Those with a knowledge of how the power of words works will understand that it affirms the negative. Affirmation of the negative is also clearly apparent on viewing the photo gallery on their website. This all speaks volumes on the nature of the people behind this organisation.
In January 2011, articles appeared in The Press covering her usage of a purpose built $20,000 metal gas chamber in her backyard she uses to murder Cats. Chloroform is her preferred method for this nefarious task. Sisson is quoted in the article of 10th January 2011 as stating "I'm taking responsibility. It's upsetting and it's distressing work. I don't like doing it; the public don't want to hear about it".
Well, we don't believe a word of that, if one is engaging in mass murder, then it stands to reason those involved are getting some form of twisted gratification from it. Additionally, the public are indeed interested in all of it, especially so if $20,000 of charitable funds are used to install a gas chamber.
The article also states she indicated she disposes of the Cats she kills in council bins. This tells us she does not have a whole lot of respect for Cats, and given the obvious health hazard involved with dumping corpses in rubbish bins, it's clear Wendy Sisson is not thinking in terms of the wellbeing of the entire community.
More info on Cats Unloved over at the PunkAs forum (caution, contains some coarse language)20 January 2011 - Psycho Rich Bitch Gasses Cats In Christchurch
In May 2012, Wendy Sisson claimed to be the target an online smear campaign alleging she is killing healthy animals and committing "Cat murder". She claimed to have lost the support of volunteers. She also sent a written submission to the Law Commission about "the ease at which individuals and/or organisations can be harmed and harassed by people who make fictitious, slanderous and libelous comments via the internet".
Our view is Cat murder is an understatement. As she has her own personal gas chamber in her back yard, Cat holocaust is a more fitting description. Anyone who goes down this path can expect no sympathy from the good people who love the Cats.
Just when it was looking like the nightmare was over, in July 2014 yet another article was published about activities connected with Cats Unloved. On June 24 2014 Cats Unloved published a listing on online job search website Opportunity Canterbury for an "animal disposer" with "strong prior experience in euthanising animals" to engage in the mass murder of stray Cats.
At best it appears she's a deluded amateur, alternatively she may well be a sadist hiding behind a charitable front. We all know how some pedophiles will place themselves in the optimum situation so they can abuse children. It could well be a similar situation in this case. Only a qualified psychiatrist would have a chance of figuring out what's going on inside her head. Regardless of her motivation, we encourage all to avoid supporting Cats Unloved. Now that we are on the ball, we'll be keeping a close eye on Wendy Sisson and co, and as we get information we'll post it for all to read right here on Feline Rights.
"The question is: how can you tell whether a skin for sale on Trade Me came from a feral Cat, a Cat that was simply a stray, or someone’s beloved companion Cat? The answer is: you can't" - SPCA National President Bob Kerridge (1)
On 20 September 2016 articles appeared in the media regarding an auction listing on Trade Me for a handbag fashioned from a deceased Cat. The seller, who's username is 'alientech' is, according to one article a man called 'Tom'. The listing on Trade Me stated "A very stylish handbag, for the girl that has everything, a one off purse that will grab attention where ever you go." We figure an item like this would grab you all of the wrong sort of attention, so as they say 'buyer beware'. The person who fabricated this travesty was named in the first article we viewed as one Claire Hobbs, however in subsequent articles she is named as Claire Third, which may or may not be her real identity. Trade Me trader 'bjubes' paid $545 for it.
Feline Rights immediately filed a formal complaint with Trade Me, here's what we sent them
We've obtained permission from Trade Me Support to post the text of our correspondence with TradeMe...
We write regarding the auction on your website of a handbag fabricated from the body of a deceased Cat. This auction item is highly offensive to many in the community. It is no better than Nazi regalia, racist, sexist, homophobic material or items fabricated from the bodies of human children.
On the grounds of the offense this item is causing, we formally request the auction be immediately removed, the seller's account be closed, and that the individual trader be permanently banned from using Trade Me.
Additionally we request Trade Me put in place appropriate checks and balances to prevent items fabricated from the bodies of Cats being listed on TradeMe.
We appreciate that given the number of items for sale on TradeMe at any one time, monitoring what is posted for sale may be a challenge for staff. However as a well known business, Trade Me has an obligation to uphold common decency and avoid offending members of the community.
We will hold off from publishing our position on our website until the weekend to allow Trade Me time to put the matter right and apologise for offending the New Zealand Public.
Feline Rights New Zealand
Trade Me promptly responded to our complaint
Thank you for reaching out to us with your thoughts about the listing 'REAL Glamour puss PURSE' listing #: 1160421420.
When it comes to animal skins and taxidermy there's no legal restriction on their sale in New Zealand. We see all manner of taxidermy and many different animal skins listed and most are generally fine. When it comes to animals that are endangered, protected or that feature under Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) we will take the listings down.
You can read more on this policy here:TradeMe - Banned/Restricted Items - Animals
It's clear the listing you're referring to is a little more controversial than other taxidermy animals. We're not taxidermy experts so we’ve taken a temperature check from our community and there is a wide spectrum of views. Some members are all for it, some are against it and a many don't care either way.
We have previously asked the SPCA to produce some guidance for sellers considering listing an animal skin. We have a close working relationship with the SPCA and our Trust & Safety Team is regularly in touch with their Animal Welfare Inspectors as we work together to identify any listings or sellers that could be breaching the Animal Welfare Act in particular.
You can read about cat skins on our blog:Why Does Trade Me Allow The Sale Of Cat Skins?
Given the wide range of views on this listing, and that the law is pretty clear in this area, the listing will remain live on the site. That said, I do appreciate you reaching out to us with your views, we have made a note of your points.
Please feel welcome to reply if you have further questions or thoughts on this.
Feline Rights NZ responded to Trade Me's position
Thank you for your prompt response and sharing your position.
It's about what we expected, and right you are, the Animal Welfare Act 1999 is the legal statute. It's going to take a fair amount of political clout to have the legal statue amended to reflect common sense, we're working on that.
For your information, the link to the TVNZ news article from 2013 in the first paragraph of the explanation page on your 'blog' is now inactive, however the video is posted on youtube.com here :
You may wish to update the link on your 'blog' page.
When we update our website with an article on the general trading of Cat fur etc in New Zealand, may we quote from your response and link to your explanation page? If we do that it may save your staff some time responding to further complaints.
While Feline Rights NZ encourages our supporters to act within the law, if there is a buyer for this item, undoubtedly there will be individuals out there who will act emotively and take issue with whoever buys it if they are out and about wearing it.
Essentially, we feel issues like this one divide the community and have the potential to precipitate social unrest. If that should happen, all involved with the promotion of the matter will, to some extent, be complicit with creation of disturbance within the community.
As individuals or businesses we all need to keep in mind we have a moral duty to ensure whatever we do promotes a healthy integrated community. If our actions create division in the community then fair chance we have it wrong.
To that effect we urge Trade Me to review the current policy on the trading of Cat skins etc.
Feline Rights New Zealand
A few days later we took another look at the Trade Me blog post "Why Does Trade Me Allow The Sale Of Cat Skins?" administered by Jon Duffy, Manager of the Trade Me Trust and Safety team, and were dismayed to discover the post had been updated with the sentence "And yes, that Cat hand bag was OK to sell". Well John and Trade Me team, you are wrong.
Having read the info pages Trade Me Support shared it became clear this was not the first instance of Cat skins being traded on TradeMe. We investigated and here's what we found:
Gavin Wilkinson - "If It Breathes We Can Kill It"1 June 2013 - SPCA Shocked By Trade Me Cat Skin 1 June 2013 - Cat Skin Rug Auction Extremely Disturbing 1 June 2013 - Press Release: RNZSPCA - Trade Me Domestic Cat Skin Auction Could Lead To Charges
Gavin Wilkinson cage trapped then shot a Cat he claims was killing his baby chickens. A few work arounds for a situation like this. Engage some pro-Cat people to help you. Provide a fenced area for the baby chickens, that's the arrangement we had when we used to keep chickens, a Cat is unlikely to predate on full grown chooks. Then there's the obvious solution, put some food out for the Cat regularly and he'll not swipe the chickens and once he trusts you, he'll be your friend for life.
A bit late for that now though, mate aye?
Gavin Wilkinson's trader ID is 'kiwi.squire', his profile at Trade Me features the logo of Sturm, Ruger & Co, a firearms manufacturer. We also note he has a business listing for "professional pest control" under the name of 'The Xterminator', their business motto is: "If it breathes we can kill it". This appears to be a word play on a quote from the 1987 sci-fi movie Predator . This tells us a bit about where this guy at, a fan of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone perhaps? All seems a bit too macho for comfort. The listing for 'The Xterminator' states 'feral Cats' are targets. While Trade Me have removed the listing for this item, we've been able to ID the trader who bought this Cat skin as 'serina_667' (2) .
Wilkinson stated this is not the first Cat he's killed. The Cat skin sold for $70, he stated the price was not worth the backlash.
Andrew Lancaster19 March 2013 - Bad Taste Cat Skin Rug Auction Upsets Animal Advocates 19 March 2013 - Taxidermist Auctions Off Cat Skin Rug 19 March 2013 - Roadkill cat sells for nearly $1000
Andrew Lancaster is from England, he's lived in New Zealand for around a decade and a half and resides in Tauranga.
Lancaster stated that he "normally avoids ex-pets for fear of offending animal lovers". We're offended, more than you will ever know. You may as well be making rugs from human babies, get your head examined, mate.
Lancaster listed the item on TradeMe, marketing it as a "great little gift for the man-cave". Auckland printer Ian James won the auction paying some $955 to Lancaster for it, (3) and no doubt TradeMe got their cut. On posting the auction Lancaster received comments such as "you sicko" and "hope this happens to you" We agree and add this sort of activity may be acceptable in United Kingdom, but here in New Zealand it is not acceptable. Andrew, if you cannot integrate into New Zealand culture and function within the moral values of our society, you need to pack your stuff and head off elsewhere.
After the issue with the handbag fabricated from the deceased Cat in September, we thought we had seen the last of this business for a while, but at the beginning of October we discovered the deeply disturbing trend continues and yet another Cat skin had been listed and sold on Trade Me.
Woolshed Studio - Timaru - Oamaru06 October 2016 - Woolshed Studio Trade Me Listing
The listing states: "Feral tabby male Cat skin. He was quite a large Tom. A great piece to sit on the arm chair or coffee table"...sickening. The auction received only one bid and the skin was sold to trader 'jessicka' of Wellington for a paltry $60. At that price we figure it's not worth the effort Woolshed Studio. On the seller's feedback page the buyer posted the following feedback: "Amazing! I can't sing their praises enough. Great quality item and excellent price. Fast delivery." You're sick, jessicka, we trust you'll lose lots of friends when they see what you have there.
In the course of our research we discovered the group Cats To Stay Army started a petition against the trading of Cat skins on TradeMe. The petition, now closed, obtained a total of 5,542 signatories, but to this day TradeMe still allow trading in Cat skins on their website.
For now, profit appears to be the name of the game and moral values do not appear to be part of their business model.
TRADE ME TRADERS: IF YOU TRADE IN CAT SKINS