ARSON threats have allegedly been made against a Gloucestershire wildlife-lover after he warned residents action would be taken against their bird-killing cats.
The rising death toll in Dr Clive Mowforth’s Dursley garden has prompted him to leaflet-drop warning them to keep their blood-thirsty pets under control.
He has since incurred the wrath of many but claims up to 10 different cats have been visiting his garden, which has been converted into a haven for wildlife, at all times of the day and night.
Dr Mowforth, an Oxford University-educated research chemist, said: “This summer we have lost numerous blackbirds and woodpigeons to cats but the death toll has begun to escalate.
“I was watching the sparrow while eating my dinner; she was sat quietly enjoying the food in the evening sun when a cat leapt onto the shoulder-height table, grabbed the bird and ran off. This was the final straw.”
Dr Mowforth has spent more than a decade converting his garden into a bird’s paradise and despite being close to woodland, he said he sees few birds and those that do venture to his lawn, pond and bird table run the risk of being killed by cats.
The leaflets sent to households includes images taken from surveillance footage of the worst offenders which he said has led to numerous complaints to RSPCA and police.
Dr Mowforth said he has put the bird table away until he has deterrents in place and legislation is needed to ensure all cats are micro-chipped and wear an audible device to warn of their presence.
“The extreme elements within the pro-cat brigade have threatened arson,” Dr Mowforth added. 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.”
One neighbour, who wished to remain anonymous, was reported as being shocked when she noticed her cat was one of thos pictured.
She said: “Everyone in the street got one of these letters through the door. I was actually quite shocked when I saw it.
“I think the whole thing is a bit like Crime Watch for cats, it all seems very petty.
“I was actually really concerned when I read the bit about him taking ‘drastic action’ against the cats.
Councillor Colin Fryer (L, Dursley) said: “I am aware of the problems cats can cause wildlife and certain smells are supposed to repel them. But other than that, I am not sure what else you can do – cats are well known for killing birds.”
Gloucestershire Police said it did not have any arson threats recorded.