'Dear cat menace': Oxford scientist’s letter warns village of 'drastic action' over bird-killing

Clive Mowforth has spent a decade turning his garden into a bird paradise

An Oxford-educated scientist has penned a letter to his neighbours threatening “drastic action” if their cats continue to hunt birds in his garden, complete with pictures of the “leading killers” and dates of their last killing spree.

Dr Clive Mowforth, a research scientist and bird lover, distributed leaflets claiming he is “plagued by cats” and their love of blackbirds and wood pigeons to more than 100 homes in his local area.

His letter, which was sent to households in the village of Dursley, in Gloucestershire, is titled “Cat Menace” and explains “direct observation and video surveillance” undertaken on his part has led him to identify ten particularly murderous felines in the area.

He writes: “The enjoyment of our wildlife and flower garden is being ruined by cats. They come to dig holes, leave their excrement and murder the wildlife. In the last week alone, at least three birds have been killed: 31/07/2014 Jackdaw, 04/08/2014 Blackbird, 04/08/2014 House sparrow.

“The black-and-white one can leap right onto our shoulder-height bird table. I do not see why we should have to put up with this menace.

“If you have a cat, can you please keep it under control. If we continue to be plagued by cats, drastic action will be taken.”

Mr Mowforth told The Telegraph he has spent more than a decade converting his 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," he said.

He added: “In the longer term there needs to be a widespread neutering campaign to bring down the size of the enormous cat population."

Mr Mowforth said he has complained to the RSPCA and police about the issue and is even considering moving if the problem persists.

“This could now push me out of my house,” he added. “I'm about to retire and I want to be able to enjoy my garden."

Unfortunately for Mr Mowforth, his neighbours seem less aggrieved by roaming cats. One neighbour, who cat was featured as one of the top two offenders, described the whole thing "is a bit like a crime watch for cats".

Amanda Woods, who has two cats in the street, added: "There is nothing you can do to stop your cats going in other people's gardens - unless you have house cats."

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