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Cats 'should be kept on a lead' scientist says

Friday September 23rd 2016

Cats should be kept on a lead to stop them from killing wildlife, an American expert says.

Dr Peter Marra, head of Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center at Washington DC's National Zoo, says free-roaming cats are responsible for killing billions of birds.

He insists strays should be kept of the streets "by an means necessary", including euthanasia.

Dr Marra is the author of Cat Wars: The Devastating Consequences of a Cuddly Killer and says the pets are responsible for killing off 63 species of mammals, birds and reptiles.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4's Today programme, he said: "It's not good for cats to put them outside, it is inhumane to let them roam outside where they can get hit by cars or mauled by dogs or pick up diseases."

The scientist also believes free-roaming felines can spread diseases such as rabies.

"Cats that are owned that are allowed to roam outside - that needs to stop," he adds.

"Stray cats should be captured and unfortunately if they can't be adopted, they will need to be euthanised."

His words have shocked cat lovers.

Dr John Bradshaw, an anthrozoologist at Bristol University, says cats are not serious predators and target creatures that are weak and dying.

Copyright Press Association 2016