Cats have killed more dolphins than McDonald’s ever has by buying hoki

This week we have seen a jihad opened up on the New Zealand fishing industry by a group of Kraut eco-terrorists.

They claim they are trying to save Maui dolphins and have fingered McDonalds as contributing to their deaths because they buy NZ Hoki. Nevermind that NZ Hoki is caught in regions far from the littoral environs that Maui dolphins inhabit, they are just attacking an industry and a multi-national company based on lies and mis-truths.

In their bid to save Maui dolphins they have attacked industries and companies that actually have nothing to do with the maui dolphins and attacking them and destroying their businesses won’t save a single Maui dolphin.

A better approach would have been for them to attack cat owners. Because one of the major killers of Hectors and Maui dolphins is cats…or rather a disease that is caused by cats.

A recent 2013 study found that toxoplasmosis is a rather large factor in the deaths of Maui and Hectors dolphins.

Hector’s dolphins (Cephalorhynchus hectori) are a small endangered coastal species that are endemic to New Zealand. Anthropogenic factors, particularly accidental capture in fishing nets, are believed to be the biggest threat to survival of this species. The role of infectious disease as a cause of mortality has not previously been well investigated. This study investigates Toxoplasma gondii infection in Hector’s dolphins, finding that 7 of 28 (25%) dolphins examined died due to disseminated toxoplasmosis, including 2 of 3 Maui’s dolphins, a critically endangered sub-species. A further 10 dolphins had one or more tissues that were positive for the presence of T. gondii DNA using PCR. Genotyping revealed that 7 of 8 successfully amplified isolates were an atypical Type II genotype. Fatal cases had necrotising and haemorrhagic lesions in the lung (n=7), lymph nodes (n=6), liver (n=4) and adrenals (n=3). Tachyzoites and tissue cysts were present in other organs including the brain (n=5), heart (n=1), stomach (n=1) and uterus (n=1) with minimal associated inflammatory response. One dolphin had a marked suppurative metritis in the presence of numerous intra-epithelial tachyzoites. No dolphins had underlying morbillivirus infection. This study provides the first evidence that infectious agents could be important in the population decline of this species, and highlights the need for further research into the route of entry of T. gondii organisms into the marine environment worldwide.

So, not fishing, or hoki fishing, but rather it is cats that are killing the dolphins.

I searched for other studies that confirm the transmission of land based mammalian disease to sea living mammals and found two studies which confirm this occurrence.

A report from July 2005 on the effects of toxoplasmosis on Southern Sea Otters in the California bay areas and another report from 2010 into how the disease gets from land into the sea and how it affects sea mammals.

Save the Bay in San Francisco has the following recommendations on their website:

Pet Waste

Left on the ground, pet waste can wash into storm drains that flow directly into the Bay, degrading water quality with high levels of bacteria, threatening public health, and making Bay animals sick.

What can you do?

  • Always pick up your pet’s waste – even in your own backyard – and throw the bagged waste in the trash.
  • Try biodegradable bags.
  • Keep dogs out of streams and stream banks.
  • Don’t flush or compost you cat’s waste.   

Did you know?

  • A parasite common in cat feces has been linked to serious disease in sea otters.
  • Cat waste outdoors, in sewage systems or compost can wash the parasite into streams, where it can eventually each the ocean.
  • Bacteria from pet waste can make swimmers sick at beaches many miles away.
  • This bacterial can also harm Bay fish and wildlife.
  • Marina Lagoon in San Mateo, Windsurfer Circle at Candlestick Point, and Baker Beach in San Francisco (where Logos Creek flows into the Bay) all received poor grades from Heal The Bay’s2014 Beach Report Card.

So, it seems that cat waste, and cats of course have a large and scientifically proven lethal or debilitating effect on sea mammals. We have two overseas studies that support this, an environmental lobby group in San Francisco making recommendations to limit pet waste entering the coastal environment and a New Zealand research project that reckons that up to 25% of Maui and Hectors dolphin deaths are cat related.

It would appear that lying about the role of McDonalds in killing the Maui dolphins is a deliberate and malicious attack on an industry when they would be better served getting on-board with Gareth Morgan’s cat killing programme.

In fact in 2014 Gareth Morgan’s outfit highlighted this exact problem and Fairfax reported on it.

A cat-borne disease that might be killing endangered dolphins has now been found in kiwi.

Toxoplasmosis, which has been linked to schizophrenia and suicide in humans, is thought to enter the marine food chain through cat faeces washed from land through the sewer system, or from feral cats living near estuaries.

Now researcher Dr Wendi Roe, of Massey University’s Infectious Diseases Research Centre, who has been tracking the disease, has reported finding two kaka, a kiwi and a kereru infected with the disease.

Earlier this year, the Morgan Foundation – funded by cat control lobbyist Gareth Morgan – released research saying about 40 per cent of New Zealanders were infected with toxoplasmosis, and linking it to afflictions including schizophrenia, impaired memory and suicidal thoughts.

Foundation spokesman Geoff Simmons has applauded the Massey study and said the pathogen’s effects on humans was “all the more reason” to more rigorously manage cats.

Between 2007 and 2011, Roe’s team found about 25 per cent of a sample of Hector’s dolphin deaths were likely to have been caused by toxoplasmosis. Two of three critically endangered Maui’s dolphins were also found to have died from the parasite.

Roe presented her research in a talk entitled “From cat poo to kai moana” yesterday, and said not enough study had been done on toxoplasmosis’ effects on ecology and on humans.

Further testing of dolphins which died of other causes – mainly collisions with boats or becoming tangled in set nets – showed 61 per cent were also infected with the pathogen, which can cause death, still births or lower fertility.

The parasite is usually dormant in humans but can pose a risk in pregnant women and those with low immunity, especially people undergoing chemotherapy.

Roe is a cat lover, but has decided, as proposed by Morgan, not to replace her recently deceased cat.

Instead of attacking McDonalds and Hoki fishers perhaps these ratbag eco-terrorists might like to go after the real dolphin killers…cats.


-Fairfax, Save the Bay


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  • PersonOfColor:WHITE

    Brilliant! Make sure Gareth Morgan gets a copy of this!

  • Seriously?

    Dolphins just swim about making a stupid noises without doing much that is useful (a bit like NZFirst I suppose). I’ll takes cats. What does dolphin tastes like? Chicken?

  • Cadae

    That thinking is the wrong way around. Rats and mice are major carriers of toxoplasmosis. Toxoplasmosis alters rats and mice brains to love the smell of cat urine. Cats pick up the toxo from the suicidal rats and mice. Without cats, there would be FAR more uncontrolled toxoplasmosis in the environment being washed down to sea.

    • JohnO

      Wikipedia says that the toxoplasmosis organism can reproduce sexually only in cats.( It is not clear to me whether or not they can reproduce asexually)
      Given reproduction is mainly in cats they (cats) would seem to be the primary host and other animals only secondary hosts…including humans. Humans in the USA are 23% toxo infected.

      • Cadae

        Sex is not necessary for toxo to replicate – it invades and replicates in any warm-blooded vertebrate’s host cells. It’s found everywhere in the world and can be passed from one animal to another orally or via other contact.
        When a cat is infected for the first time, the parasite is able to create oocysts that are excreted and are relatively environmentally robust and can infect any creatures that contact the cat excreta. Cats have a great habit of burying their waste that helps mitigate transmission.
        Cats get infected only once, after which they become immune and the toxo cannot use the cat in the same way again.
        I think that the net impact of suicidal rats and mice, cat immunity and cats’ civilized toileting behaviour is that cats can act as a cleanup agent.

  • kereru

    Cats, or rather cute kittens are being used as drawcards (along with Nutella) in ISIS recruitment campaigns. A bizarre combo indeed.

  • Michelle

    l take it there is no way of controlling it
    someone must be able to come up with a drench to rid animals and people of this parasite?

    • I have a way, the drench I use is an individual dosage per cat of a 40gr copper coated lead tablet delivered at 4100fps

    • Seriously?

      Drench doesn’t work that well in the open ocean, but I’ve been told that once landed the Danish favour drenching it in a nice aged balsamic reduction


    Why is Gareth Morgan not onto this???

  • seismac

    Thank you thank you Thank you for years I have been saying that set nets dont kill maui or hectors dolphin
    I was set netting for 28 years in the south and set 600,000 metres of set net every year and NEVER caught a dolphin in areas from 5 m deep to 500m deep
    I claimed for years it was toxoplasmosis and leptospirosus that was coming from land that killed them
    For Green Peace and Doc lovers it not a good look to go to schools and tell the audience of 8 year olds its their cats and sheep that kill dolphins or that because they love bonking often they spread lepto every day

  • Jacko

    Hi I have been trawling on West Coast of North Island inshore for the last 20 years, I have never caught a hector/maui let alone seen one. Talked to some gillnetters once and they haven’t been catching them either? They live in the surf zone(inside 1NM), or inside Harbour in dirty water to stay away from their natural predators being sharks. This is well known along with the fact plasmosis is what is killing them off. This is yet again another “anti” primary industry bandwagon and supported with misinformation by publically funded DOC. Latest DOC report survey 2015 has 44 groups sighted, average size 5-5.8 Maui between Karitohi Beach and Cochranes Gap inside 1 Nautical Mile, so in that one small area that adds up to a lot more than 55? I thought when we started carrying MPI observers every trip @ $800 per day all there lies and bulshit would stop, alas appeasement has never worked….

  • Dan

    I think there is a weak link between cats and dolphins, simply because of the fact that cats are unlikely to encounter one. Furthermore the transfer from cats to dolphins would by by water borne oocytes. It may be possible but tiny.

    However, the fact that a mouse infected with the parasite shows behaviours that tend to making it easier to fall prey to cats. Now that is clever evolution or whatever you want to call it.