The outrage: man convicted for trapping cat on his own property


supplied, via Stuff

A Palmerston North man convicted of capturing a pet cat in a leg trap said he was trying to prevent it from hunting birds on his property.

Paul Parsons was convicted in the Palmerston North District Court on Wednesday on a charge of using a prohibited trap for the purpose of capturing an animal.

He was fined $500 and ordered to pay $130 in court costs and a $250 contribution to legal costs.

A statement from the SPCA said that when Parson was interviewed he admitted setting the trap for the purpose of capturing the cat to prevent it from hunting birds on his property.

SPCA NZ chief executive Ric Odom said the actions were “clearly completely unacceptable and irresponsible”.

“The SPCA wants this conviction to send a clear message to anyone considering setting leg hold traps – and the message is: don’t do it. It is illegal to set leg hold traps near dwellings and size one-and-a-half long-spring leg hold traps are themselves illegal.”

The Animal Welfare Order 2007 states that no leg hold traps can be used within 150 metres of a dwelling without the express permission of the occupier, or in any area where there is a probable risk of catching a companion animal.

“What if a small child had caught their hand or foot in the trap?” Odom said.

“Leg hold traps have absolutely no place in urban areas. No one should be setting these cruel traps anywhere near houses or where domestic pets may be caught in them.”

The SPCA statement said an adult, black, domestic, short-haired cat was found by its owner caught in a serrated edge, size one-and-a-half, long-spring, leg hold trap on the defendant’s property in Palmerston North on October 11, 2015.

The trap was secured to the base of a tree and the cat’s right foreleg was caught in it.

The Animal Welfare Order 2007 has prohibited the use of size one-and-a-half long-spring, leg hold traps since January 1, 2009.

The owner struggled to free the cat from the trap, the SPCA said.

The defendant refused to assist initially, but after a heated altercation, and input from his wife, he reluctantly agreed,” the SPCA said.

A veterinary examination revealed that the cat had sustained two fractures in its paw. The paw was swollen and had puncture wounds on both sides.

The SPCA said the veterinarian commented that there would have been significant pain and fear induced by the trapping.

The trap was seized during the execution of a search warrant at the defendant’s home on October 13, 2015.

The man needs a medal.  I’ve already killed 4 cats this year.  The only problem was that he used a trapping method that has been illegal for some time.

There are other ways to trap cats, humanely.  And then you can dispatch them, humanely.

Next time, he should use a Timms trap.   He will have to cut away some of the plastic around the opening to make sure cats put their heads in properly.

That way there won’t be any problems of living cats to tell their story.


– Stuff


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  • Jude

    Feral cats I can understand the need to trap and humanly kill. I have issues with people wanting to kill domestic cats.
    Mine do not catch birds, they wear bells and keep the mice away from the aviary!

    • sarahmw

      my thoughts too. Not sure I understand the reasoning and glee killing cats that some have. Disturbing to say the least. I could say more but won’t other than abuse is abuse, no excuses.

  • Spiker

    “and size one-and-a-half long-spring leg hold traps are themselves illegal.” I did not know that. I wonder what the penalty for possession is? I guess I should put the one I have hanging off the power pole out front somewhere a little less conspicuous..

  • JEL51

    Leg hold = bone crushing/breaking. No living animal should be exposed to that form of cruelty…….ever!! There are other alternatives.
    p.s. any bird stupid enough to allow itself to be caught by an over-fed domestic cat is likely to be doomed any way.

  • Vutekno

    I suspect that the cat trapper had sinister motives! He needs watching IMO.

    That trap is not only illegal but it is also capable of cruel injuries. There is something quite sick about people that take pleasure in injuring small animals and for one do not believe his story about protecting birds, what sparrows!!!

    Judging by the fines I suspect the Judge did not believe him either. See what you have done Gareth, given licence to potentially sadistic sick people.

  • WaveAtTheBridge

    Animal cruelty is never acceptable anywhere. It’s irrelevant whether it was on this guy’s property or not.

  • Kiwi Sapper

    If he had used one of these,

    the Muppet wold not have had a problem.

  • luke

    “The man deserves a medal” really? Causing pain and suffering to the cat and the family that owns it (no matter how much you despise cats), is in my view an appalling thing to claim and demonstrates a lack of compassion.

  • duve

    I don’t agree with catching cats in these cruel traps. However, I also don’t agree with cat owners allowing their cats to roam over other people’s property, particularly if the property owner has made it clear they don’t want them there. Cat owners should be subject to the same rules as dog owners.

    • Digger

      I totally agree! I’ve had to cat-proof fence my property to protect my free range chooks and guinea pig. In parts of Australia it’s the cat owners cost and obligation to fence them in. Kids and cats – you want them, you keep them on your property, not wandering around on mine.

  • Dumrse

    I trapped a cat in a deliberate attempt to rid it from our property. I put the hose on it for 5 minutes then opened the door. It’s never been seen since.

  • Michelle

    Those traps are horrible and not sure what his motives were there especially leaving the cat in the trap without doing something about it

    We have people forever dumping cats here and in the last few months we have dispatched humanely about 10 of them
    We use the possum cage traps and then a bullet
    l hate doing it but also don’t like having to treat my 2 cats after they get beaten up

    The other thing is if these cats are not put down, in a month or so if you see them again they are skinny and mangy and some turn up with cat flu
    we have a lot of native small birds here and love having them here the grey warbler, fantails, wax eyes and even tom tits

    l got in touch with DOC and they came out and checked the leg traps l have for trapping possums and gave some guidelines, never caught a cat but have got some ferrets with them
    l set them at night and let them off each morning, l have accidentally caught a chook in one and rushed out to free her and she ran off but no damage, thankfully

  • Nechtan

    I have no love for cats, they are forever poohing on my lawn, deck or anywhere else they please around my place.
    I have less than zero love for a “gin trap”. Cruel devices.
    This guy was wrong to use one.

    Cats are not any more special than dogs, (or indeed any other animal).
    People get understandably upset if a dog enters their yard and does its business, digs up the garden or harasses livestock or other animals on the property.
    Why should cats have a get out of jail free card?

  • johnandali

    I seem to have a recollection that there was a proposal that all cat-owners should be required to keep their cats indoors at night, as night-time is when they go hunting for birds. If it was brought in as law, any cat found outside at night could probably be legally done-away-with on the grounds that it was feral. Sounds like a good proposal to me.

  • Greg

    We need to eradicate cats and muslims from this planet, both do more harm than good.

  • Shane Ponting

    If one wanted to quarantine their pet cat in the backyard to save the neighbour’s from annoyance, are there NZ companies which sell appropriate fencing/netting/guidance/etc ?

  • Doug

    He could use a cage trap, that way if someone finds a trapped car on his property he could claim he used the cage to ensure he killed no pets