If you were a possum how would you rather die?

If you were a New Zealand possum how would you rather die?

This trap may be a humane death sometimes but if my experiences with similar traps for mice and rats are anything to go on they can fail and leave the animal trapped and injured.

There is nothing humane about this kind of trap it is cruel and makes me feel ill.

This trap is revolutionary as it humanely kills possums and resets itself automatically 12 times before needing to be re-powered. This means it is 12 times more efficient than manual traps.

The trap contains a sweet, liquid bait which lures possums.  When they put their head into the device and bite down, a compressed gas canister fires a retractable bolt into the animal’s skull, stunning and killing it immediately.


A bullet to the head is a quick way to go as long as the hunter is an accurate shot.

Herbivores poisoned by 1080 usually die of heart failure, whereas carnivores are more likely to die of respiratory failure.

A report commissioned in 2009 by the National Animal Welfare Advisory Committee (NAWAC) rated the humaneness of death by 1080 poisoning for possums as grade 6 , with grade 1 being the most humane and 8, the least humane . This score takes into consideration the overall impact and its duration of a range of welfare compromises.


Traps that capture the animal alive stress the animal and depending on how often the traps are checked they can suffer from dehydration and starvation before they are either shot or the cage thrown into water to drown them.

The Department of Conservation is about to start its third Battle for our Birds programme to protect native species from pests and Ms Barry says the poison is the best option.
But just last week world renowned anthropologist Jane Goodall was in Wellington telling parliamentarians of the need to be humane in controlling pests.


Poison may be the easiest or most effective option for the government but if I was a possum it is not the way I would choose to die as there is only one other option that is less humane than 1080 and that is the disgusting gin trap which is illegal now in New Zealand.

When the gin trap snaps shut on its victim, the teeth bite into the skin and can cause a lot of trauma and no doubt agonizing pain.  All leg-hold traps are indiscriminate about what they catch.  If they are set in possum tracks or runs it’s more likely than not that any catch will be a possum, but it might also be a cat, hedgehog, rat, bird or small dog.  Large dogs can sometimes pull out of them but they may be injured in the process.

Leg hold traps are still legal.

It is still legal to use size 1 leg-hold traps… It is smaller than the gin trap and doesn’t have serrated jaws.  The Victor No 1 can be bought with cushioned inserts that make it more humane.  It tends to cause less frequent and less severe injuries than the gin trap and larger leg-hold traps, but it can still cause severe bruising, and trapped animals will sometimes cause themselves severe injuries in their struggle to get free.


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