Cen­tral city is no place for gin traps – SPCA

Central Leader - - NEWS -

As the SPCA looks to pros­e­cute the per­son who trapped a West Auck­land cat in a gin trap last month, cen­tral Auck­lan­ders are be­ing warned against us­ing the ‘‘in­hu­mane’’ de­vices.

Gin traps are a form of leg-hold traps and have been used in New Zealand for many years to trap pests such as pos­sums, fer­rets, stoats and feral cats.

SPCA Auck­land chief ex­ec­u­tive Chris­tine Kalin says it is dif­fi­cult to say whether leg-hold traps are be­ing used in cen­tral Auck­land.

‘‘We just don’t know how wide­spread the prob­lem is.

‘‘Th­ese ter­ri­ble de­vices cause un­nec­es­sary suf­fer­ing to an­i­mals. We are strongly ad­vo­cat­ing that, par­tic­u­larly in the Auck­land area, they are just not safe to use.’’

There have been two cases of cats be­ing caught in the de­vices in West Auck­land in the past month.

The An­i­mal Wel­fare Act re­stricts the sale and use of leg-hold traps.

They can’t be used within 150 me­tres of a dwelling with­out the per­mis­sion of the oc­cu­pier or in any area where there is a prob­a­ble risk of catch­ing a pet.

The il­le­gal place­ment of leghold traps is pun­ish­able by up to six months in prison and/or a fine of up to $25,000 for an in­di­vid­ual or up to $125,000 for a body cor­po­rate.

Ms Kalin would like to see the traps banned.

‘‘There is nowhere in cen­tral Auck­land where you are not at risk of trap­ping a pet. There is no place for them in ur­ban ar­eas where not only do­mes­tic pets but also chil­dren could get caught in them.’’

In­hu­mane: The SPCA wants to see a stop to the use of gin traps.

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