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SPCA Calls For Restrictions On Gin-Trap Use

5 April 2005

SPCA Calls For Restrictions On Gin-Trap Use

New Zealand’s leading animal welfare body wants local councils to ensure that gin-traps are kept well away from where people and their pets live.

The Royal New Zealand SPCA says that both children and domestic animals are put at risk by the failure of many local authorities to regulate where traps can be laid.

The Society describes a recent series of domestic cat entrapments around Greymouth as “horrific and disgraceful” and as exemplifying why councils need to act.

“We got to know about these traps simply because two of the cats managed to escape. One of them managed to crawl home with the trap still attached but the other only got out by gnawing-off its own paw. It was in a terrible state and needed to be humanely euthanased to prevent further suffering,” says the SPCA’s National Chief Executive, Robyn McDonald.

“The SPCA is totally opposed to the use of all traps which cause pain, suffering and distress but we recognise that gin-traps are not banned by law. Even so, councils have a responsibility to regulate the use of traps and to ensure that they are not laid in areas where they are likely to harm children or domestic animals. Unfortunately many councils have not put appropriate regulations in place.

“We would recommend that traps be banned within a kilometre radius of all human settlement. This would restrict them to areas where young children or domestic animals are unlikely to become entrapped,” she says. Robyn McDonald adds that the Greymouth entrapments probably involved a breach of the 1999 Animal Welfare Act, which requires traps to be inspected within twelve hours of sunrise on the day after the trap is set. This offence carries a fine on conviction of up to $1,200.

ENDS

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