In rural parts of New Zealand, children are actively involved in conservation efforts, including learning how to trap and eradicate invasive species, often participating in hunting competitions that double as school fundraisers. While such practices are part of the local way of life, integrating traditions of hunting and agriculture, they've raised concerns among some activists about potential desensitization to violence and the loss of compassion for animals. The competitions, which support community causes, bring to light the complex questions about the role of children in conservation efforts and the ethical considerations surrounding hunting for environmental management. This debate is particularly poignant in New Zealand, where invasive species pose a significant threat to native wildlife. The issue became a flashpoint when a hunting competition introduced a category for children to hunt feral cats, leading to intense public and activist backlash. The category was eventually restricted to adults only, yet the controversy sparked broader discussions about cultural practices, conservation, and the education of the younger generation in rural communities.

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