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Regulations to cut use of leghold traps

Hon Jim Anderton

Minister of Agriculture, Minister for Biosecurity
Minister of Fisheries, Minister of Forestry
Associate Minister of Health
Associate Minister for Tertiary Education

Progressive Leader

27 November 2007 Media Statement

Regulations to cut use of leghold traps

"Restrictions on the use of leghold traps will be tighter from next year," Agriculture Minister Jim Anderton said today.

All long-spring leghold traps size 1 ½ and larger and all double-coil leghold traps larger than size 1 ½ will be banned from 1 January 2009, and all hard-jaw leghold traps of size 1 ½ will be banned from 1 January 2011, under new animal welfare regulations promulgated this week.

The sale of these prohibited traps is banned from 1 January next year.

Jim Anderton said other leghold traps, such as the size 1 and size 1 ½ double-coil padded-jaw traps were not affected and could still be used.

In addition, from January 1 next year, no leghold trap of any kind can be used within 150 metres of a house or in any area where it was probable a pet animal, such as a dog or cat, could be caught.

Jim Anderton said that while leghold traps were useful in certain circumstances, the Labour-Progressive Government also had to be mindful of animal welfare considerations. "These regulations should ensure that leghold traps are still available for use when essential, but that abuse is avoided."

These new regulations supercede all existing local bylaws governing the use of leg hold traps.

Any breach of the regulations is an offence under the Animal Welfare Act punishable by up to six months imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $25,000 for an individual or up to $125,000 for a body corporate.


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