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SPCA Urges Gin-Trap Ban

SPCA Urges Gin-Trap Ban

The Royal New Zealand SPCA has renewed its call for councils to impose strict controls on the use of gin-traps, following two new incidents involving injured cats.

The SPCA’ wants councils to ban gin-traps within a one kilometre radius of human settlement and says there is a case for Parliament banning the traps altogether.

“Bear in mind that cats caught in gin-traps are likely to be only a short distance from their homes, as they are intensely territorial creatures and rarely wander great distances. We can therefore assume that the traps in question have been laid close to human habitation and are likely to be a danger to children as well as to animals,” says Robyn McDonald, Royal New Zealand SPCA’s National Chief Executive.

“It’s currently up to councils to regulate the use of gin-traps. At the very least, we recommend that such traps be banned within a kilometre radius of all human settlement, as this would restrict them to areas where young children or domestic animals are unlikely to become entrapped,” she says.

The two new incidents occurred this month. A young female cat was discovered by a group of children in a gin-trap near Hokitika. The cat’s front right paw had rotted and atrophied and she was dehydrated and suffering from starvation. Her leg has now been amputated and a new home found for her.

In the other incident, a missing female cat was found by a motorist near Kawerau. One of her legs was dangling and was later found to be infected. The cat’s injuries were compatible with being caught in a gin-trap. A large number of Kawerau cats have been reported missing in recent months.

Earlier this year, two Greymouth cats were caught in gin traps. One cat managed to crawl home with the trap still attached but the other only got out by gnawing-off its own paw. The second cat was subsequently humanely euthanased to prevent further suffering. The Greymouth area had also experienced a large number of cats missing.

“It’s clear from these and other examples that gin-traps can cause great pain and suffering to animals caught in them. The animals are also likely to experience considerable distress and disorientation as a result of prolonged entrapment, and can suffer from exposure to the elements,” says Robyn McDonald

“Gin-traps can cause pain, suffering and distress to any animals caught in them, domesticated or otherwise. They are barbaric, antiquated implements and it is time for Parliament to ban their use nationwide.”

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