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Possum caught in gin trap on Kaiti Hill

31 Dec 2012

Possum caught in gin trap on Kaiti Hill

The public are reminded that old style gin traps are illegal and should never be set near houses or a public walkway says Gisborne District Council’ biosecurity team leader Phil Karaitiana.

A possum was found with its leg caught in an old style leg-hold or gin trap on Titirangi (Kaiti) Hill earlier this month. The possum was caught in a trap attached to the base of a tree. The trap was set at the far end of first car park over the cattle stop behind the seat opposite the exercise hurdles.

The possum was set free and the illegal trap removed.

“Gin traps pose a real risk to loved family pets when set in such a public place,” says Mr Karaitaina. “We have been keeping an eye out for anyone setting traps in the reserve area. The public should ring Council 867 2049 at any time if they see anything suspicious.”

Since 2008 very strict regulations are in place to manage the use of traps. Old style traps with long springs are banned. Traps can not be used within 150 metres of a house without the permission of the occupier or in any area where there is a risk of catching a pet.

Fines of up to $50,000 can be imposed.

The traps have metal jaws and are designed to catch and hold an animal by a limb, generally the leg or foot. The traps are seen as inhumane due to the injury and distress associated and unnecessary suffering caused to animals if they are held in the trap too long.

Phil Karaitiana with gin trap