Gloucestershire gardener threatened with arson by cat lovers

Dr Clive Moforth has received arson threats in reaction to his plans to curb cat numbers in his now bird-free garden

Dr Clive Moforth has received arson threats in reaction to his plans to curb cat numbers in his now bird-free garden

First published in News
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A FRUSTRATED gardener has had arson threats from cat-lovers after warning he will “take action” against moggies which killed birds in his garden.

Dr Clive Mowforth, 57, leafleted cat-owning neighbours with pictures of dead birds in his garden which had fallen victim to their pets.

In his letter he said "drastic action" would be taken if the problem persisted - provoking a storm of protest.

However, Dr Mowforth, from Dursley in Gloucestershire said the "action" included netting and lion dung to put off the pesky felines.

The chemist said he used to see large numbers of birds but as the cat population has increased, bird numbers have fallen.

"Up to ten different cats visit the garden at all times of day and night," he said.

"This summer we have lost numerous blackbirds and wood pigeons to cats but the death toll has begun to escalate.

"In the last week alone, cats have killed a jackdaw, a blackbird and a house sparrow. I was watching the sparrow whilst eating my dinner. She was sat quietly enjoying the food in the evening sun when a cat leapt right onto the shoulder-height table, grabbed the bird and ran off. This was the final straw.”

Dr Mowforth leafleted nearby households with pictures from video surveillance of the worst offenders, asking cat-owners to control their charges and said that action would be taken if the problem persisted.

"This has led to numerous complaints to the police and RSPCA, and the extreme elements within the pro-cat brigade have threatened arson," he said.

"The bird table has been put away until the first set of deterrents is in place.

"I don’t see why I should have to pay to protect the birds in my garden from cat-owners who simply let their pets roam free. If a dog went into a neighbour’s garden, dug holes, left excrement and killed wildlife, all hell would be let loose.

"I expect to have to spend hundreds of pounds over the coming months."

Whilst the RSPB estimates that cats kill 55 million birds every year they do not back control measures.

"This seems amazing to me," said Dr Mowforth.

“I suspect this is a political decision designed to appease members who own cats."

Dr Mowforth said that legislation is needed to ensure all cats are micro-chipped and wear an audible device to warn of their presence.

He also thinks that owners who choose to let their cats roam free should be subject to the same rules as dog-owners and be made responsible for the actions of their pets, adding: "In the longer term there needs to be a widespread neutering campaign to bring down the size of the enormous cat population.

"I have spent over a decade converting my garden into a paradise for birds.

"But despite being close to woodland I see few birds these days and those that do venture to my lawn, pond and bird table run the risk of being killed by cats.

"Changes in agriculture and habitat loss have had a dramatic effect on bird numbers but locally cats can also have a big influence."

Comments (8)

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10:40am Mon 11 Aug 14

IknowIamright says...

Just because you choose to feed the wild birds in your garden - you seem to think that they somehow are your birds - they are still wild and they take a chance against cats in the wild - it is not only cats who kill birds - dogs would do the same given half a chance and birds kill each other too don't forget. And we cannot have the same law for cats as we do for dogs - cats and owners pay a price for their wanderings and freedom and sadly they pay the ultimate price and get knocked down and killed and are very vulnerable to bird loving and garden obsessed jobsters like yourself. Fine if you want to feed the birds but they are not your birds and cats by nature wander and sometimes catch birds - they also catch mice but no one complains then!
Just because you choose to feed the wild birds in your garden - you seem to think that they somehow are your birds - they are still wild and they take a chance against cats in the wild - it is not only cats who kill birds - dogs would do the same given half a chance and birds kill each other too don't forget. And we cannot have the same law for cats as we do for dogs - cats and owners pay a price for their wanderings and freedom and sadly they pay the ultimate price and get knocked down and killed and are very vulnerable to bird loving and garden obsessed jobsters like yourself. Fine if you want to feed the birds but they are not your birds and cats by nature wander and sometimes catch birds - they also catch mice but no one complains then! IknowIamright
  • Score: -26

1:46pm Mon 11 Aug 14

Geoff66 says...

Oh someone is angry ;-)
Oh someone is angry ;-) Geoff66
  • Score: 4

2:23pm Mon 11 Aug 14

IknowIamright says...

You bet!
You bet! IknowIamright
  • Score: 0

3:58pm Mon 11 Aug 14

Geoff66 says...

Perhaps we should give this rant a little more perspective, and provide a little more information for people to make up their own minds

RSPB -http://www.rspb.org
.uk/advice/gardening
/unwantedvisitors/ca
ts/index.aspx

Science News - https://www.sciencen
ews.org/article/cats
-kill-more-one-billi
on-birds-each-year

Article - http://www.bbc.co.uk
/dna/place-lancashir
e/plain/A634655

Article - http://birding.about
.com/od/birdconserva
tion/a/catsandbirds.
htm

Article - http://planetearth.n
erc.ac.uk/news/story
.aspx?id=1337&cookie
Consent=A

Let's remember there are always two sides to an argument and people also need to consider the facts before they point fingers
Perhaps we should give this rant a little more perspective, and provide a little more information for people to make up their own minds RSPB -http://www.rspb.org .uk/advice/gardening /unwantedvisitors/ca ts/index.aspx Science News - https://www.sciencen ews.org/article/cats -kill-more-one-billi on-birds-each-year Article - http://www.bbc.co.uk /dna/place-lancashir e/plain/A634655 Article - http://birding.about .com/od/birdconserva tion/a/catsandbirds. htm Article - http://planetearth.n erc.ac.uk/news/story .aspx?id=1337&cookie Consent=A Let's remember there are always two sides to an argument and people also need to consider the facts before they point fingers Geoff66
  • Score: 6

4:44pm Mon 11 Aug 14

123pinkgirlies says...

As an animal lover and a cat owner I find it frankly ridiculous to suggest that cats should be controlled in the same way as dogs!, it is accepted in law that cats are free to roam, I sympathise with gardeners but there are many cat deterrents on the market, all of which are humane. I myself have experienced a neighbour who thought it acceptable to set a dog on cats entering their garden. Unfortunately you have to accept the circle of life as there is no way cat owners can possibly train their cats not to kill birds.
As an animal lover and a cat owner I find it frankly ridiculous to suggest that cats should be controlled in the same way as dogs!, it is accepted in law that cats are free to roam, I sympathise with gardeners but there are many cat deterrents on the market, all of which are humane. I myself have experienced a neighbour who thought it acceptable to set a dog on cats entering their garden. Unfortunately you have to accept the circle of life as there is no way cat owners can possibly train their cats not to kill birds. 123pinkgirlies
  • Score: -15

8:19pm Mon 11 Aug 14

IknowIamright says...

Yes, yes OK Geoffrey - I personally have already read these articles and do not need to read them again thankyou. I think I can guess which side of the argument you are on. Probably on the same side of the pro fox hunting fraternity no doubt. And probably belong to the Countryside Alliance - those arrogent group of people who think they are the perveyors of the countryside and pretend to love animal when in truth have no respect for wildlife at all. Their only concern is that they get to dress up in awful clothes and ponse around on horses and go shooting all in the name of 'taking care of the countryside' of course
you may not be in this league Geoff and I shouldn't presume you are....but I once got chatting to a ( let us say of retirement age and obviously from a certain time when hunting and cruelty to animals was rife and acceptible ) stall holder at a country show who was absolutely horrified when I dared to enquire if he was setting up the Cats Protection League stall by any chance ( I couldn't tell what his stall was going to be and was looking to help on the 'cats' stall ) whereopon he threw his arms up in the air and declared with such agressive conviction 'I'll have you know Madam, that I am a Country man and have been all my life'! I felt like saying, 'and your point is? What the hell has that got to do with you obviously not liking cats! Ahh, I thougt, you must be a lovely sweet old man who loves doing his gardening and feeding the birds ( what would we do without these wonderful country loving gardening folks who feed our birds) and who probably own a dog and take it walkies in the country side, so he must be a country loving man, whereas we cats owners do not love the countryside do we? We do not care for the the birds because we let our cats out to kill them......this horrible biogoted cat hating so called lover of the countrside dared to suggest that hating cats equalled loving nature......how dare he......cats have more right to live and roam in our contryside than we humans will ever have.....I walked away before I said anything, with his silly 'country woman' wife laughing and saying, 'ooo, you have upset him now'! Well, Mrs Arrogant Gumpy so called 'countryman ' more fool you to indulge him!
Yes, yes OK Geoffrey - I personally have already read these articles and do not need to read them again thankyou. I think I can guess which side of the argument you are on. Probably on the same side of the pro fox hunting fraternity no doubt. And probably belong to the Countryside Alliance - those arrogent group of people who think they are the perveyors of the countryside and pretend to love animal when in truth have no respect for wildlife at all. Their only concern is that they get to dress up in awful clothes and ponse around on horses and go shooting all in the name of 'taking care of the countryside' of course you may not be in this league Geoff and I shouldn't presume you are....but I once got chatting to a ( let us say of retirement age and obviously from a certain time when hunting and cruelty to animals was rife and acceptible ) stall holder at a country show who was absolutely horrified when I dared to enquire if he was setting up the Cats Protection League stall by any chance ( I couldn't tell what his stall was going to be and was looking to help on the 'cats' stall ) whereopon he threw his arms up in the air and declared with such agressive conviction 'I'll have you know Madam, that I am a Country man and have been all my life'! I felt like saying, 'and your point is? What the hell has that got to do with you obviously not liking cats! Ahh, I thougt, you must be a lovely sweet old man who loves doing his gardening and feeding the birds ( what would we do without these wonderful country loving gardening folks who feed our birds) and who probably own a dog and take it walkies in the country side, so he must be a country loving man, whereas we cats owners do not love the countryside do we? We do not care for the the birds because we let our cats out to kill them......this horrible biogoted cat hating so called lover of the countrside dared to suggest that hating cats equalled loving nature......how dare he......cats have more right to live and roam in our contryside than we humans will ever have.....I walked away before I said anything, with his silly 'country woman' wife laughing and saying, 'ooo, you have upset him now'! Well, Mrs Arrogant Gumpy so called 'countryman ' more fool you to indulge him! IknowIamright
  • Score: -19

8:21pm Mon 11 Aug 14

corin22 says...

I always find a catapult works well as does a hose pipe, they soon learn not to come in!if people want to have cats then keep them in your own garden, if I wanted a cat I would get my own.
I always find a catapult works well as does a hose pipe, they soon learn not to come in!if people want to have cats then keep them in your own garden, if I wanted a cat I would get my own. corin22
  • Score: 17

2:21pm Thu 14 Aug 14

Robert Jeanes says...

This is a juicy subject - perfect for Anonymous Keyboard Warriors!
Superb example too how things can morph .... cats' behaviour and hunting attire have, it seems, something in common!
The report failed to mention what the Oxford University-educated man (according to the Daily Telegraph) was having for dinner. Was it Grouse perhaps, or chicken?
Nice to see that the W&G Standard does not refer to Dursley as a "village" though.
This is a juicy subject - perfect for Anonymous Keyboard Warriors! Superb example too how things can morph .... cats' behaviour and hunting attire have, it seems, something in common! The report failed to mention what the Oxford University-educated man (according to the Daily Telegraph) was having for dinner. Was it Grouse perhaps, or chicken? Nice to see that the W&G Standard does not refer to Dursley as a "village" though. Robert Jeanes
  • Score: -1

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