SPCA New Zealand
Advice & welfare


Animals in the Wild

SPCA advocates for trapping methods that minimise the negative welfare harms caused to targeted and non-targeted animals.

SPCA advocates for the use of live-capture traps that use technologies such as remote-sensing that alert an operator when an animal has been captured. If live-capture cage traps are used without an alert system, then an operator should visit the trap more frequently than every twelve hours, depending upon the species targeted, the likelihood of catching a non-targeted animal, exposure to thermal extremes or inclement weather, the trap used, and its location. Non-targeted trapped animals must be released immediately after discovery. If the target species is caught and it is to be killed, the animal must be killed humanely as soon as possible.

SPCA advocates that, if lethal traps are used, then the trap must kill the animal in the shortest period of time, such as blunt force trauma, cervical dislocation. Traps that pose a strangulation risk should not be used.

SPCA advocates that all traps (live capture and kill traps) must be prohibited from sale or use unless they have passed standardised welfare performance testing.

SPCA advocates for all trap operators to be skilled in using a particular trap, including considerations for: where the trap is placed and how it is positioned to discourage non-targeted animals from engaging with the trap, maintenance of trap mechanisms to ensure they are working effectively, and age of trap to avoid using traps that are no longer effective.

SPCA opposes the manufacture, sale and use of all leg-hold and glue-board traps, due to the negative impacts to the welfare of animals and the indiscriminate way they capture animals. SPCA is also against the manufacture, importation, sale, and use of all traps using live decoys and any other trap because of the negative impacts on animal welfare.

Currently, restricted leg-hold traps and glue-board traps can be used provided an operator receives an exemption from the Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI). SPCA is concerned that providing exemptions for these types of traps permits operators the opportunity to use traps that cause negative impacts to animal welfare of both targeted and non-targeted animals.

(see Pest Controls)

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