The most humane way to kill a possum is to shoot it in the head

It is important to kill animals humanely to minimise pain and suffering This is achieved by doing it as quickly and cleanly as possible. I have no problem killing animals and people who make a fuss about killing animals are trying to live in a bubble. Killing animals is not an enjoyable part of life but it is a necessary one. If humans?are stranded on an uninhabited island they will have to overcome their discomfort with killing if they want to survive.

A recent outrage article about an Auckland school fundraiser made the observation that the method used to kill baby possums found inside their dead mother’s pouches was not only inhumane but that it was inappropriate that a teenage girl should be killing them.

Young possum joeys were taken from their mother’s pouch and drowned in a bucket of water during an annual fundraising hunt for a South Auckland school.

Hundreds of adult possums were killed during the event raising money for Drury School last weekend, with a witness telling the?Herald on Sunday?at least one teenaged girl – not a student of the school – was allegedly involved in the drowning of the baby possums.

The Ministry for Primary Industries confirmed it was investigating the incident and the school has vowed it is changing policies for next year’s hunt – which is organised by the parent-run organisation Friends of Drury School – after discussions last week with the SPCA.

…the hunters were required to remove and humanely dispose of any joeys before the possums were brought to the weigh-in, but some hunters did not.

“Any joeys found dead or alive were removed from the carcass as the fur buyer doesn’t take any joeys.

“They were then put down of in a manner that was believed to be lawful.”

Logan said no primary or intermediate aged children were involved in the removal or disposal of the joeys, but a number of teenagers were among volunteers who helped run the event.

…The SPCA had since been in touch with the school to explain the method of killing the joeys was not considered humane, Logan said.

It is interesting that the article fails to explain what the SPCA approved method is. The only method that I can think of would make those who are outraged even more outraged. You can shoot them at point blank range with a twenty-two. That is a very quick death. Imagine a teenage girl at a fundraiser shooting little joeys in the head.

“The school has learnt from this and we will be working with the SPCA to ensure that all animal welfare requirements are met in future so that the focus is returned to the commendable intent of the fundraising itself.”

An MPI spokeswoman confirmed it had received a complaint and were making inquiries to determine if an offence had been committed.

Drowning animals is illegal under the Animal Welfare Act and is punishable by a fine up to $75,000 or a maximum three years’ imprisonment.

…”There is guidance available for humanely euthanising young possums and this will be shared with the school.

…The complaint to MPI was made by Lynley Tulloch – an animal rights activist – who attended the event after telling organisers she was an environmentalist from the Waikato and was writing a children’s book.

She told the?Herald on Sunday?she witnessed a teenage girl pulling live joeys out of possum pouches and dropping them into a large bucket.

She was told by those present the girl was drowning the joeys.

Tulloch said the drowning of the joeys was “absolutely appalling”.

She added she was “absolutely sickened” by what she saw.

…Drowning newborn animals is considered particularly cruel because they have an automatic reflex to hold their breaths, meaning it takes longer for them to lose consciousness than if they inhaled water.

“It’s not quick and it’s causing severe distress.”

Schools teaching children to kill animals desensitised them to violence, she said.

…As well as complaining to MPI, Tulloch has also started a?petition?to ban school possum hunts.

Hunting possums and killing them with a bullet is far more humane than being poisoned with 1080 which is an agonising death yet this is approved by New Zealand environmentalists. If Lynley Tulloch really cares about humane deaths for possums she should be starting a petition against 1080 and supporting school possum hunts.