MAF Seeks Information on Trap Use

13 December 2002

The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF) is seeking public comment on the possible prohibition or restriction on the use of certain traps and devices used to kill or manage animals.

The call for comment is in response to three proposals to prohibit or restrict the use of the traps and devices put forward by the National Animal Welfare Advisory Committee (NAWAC) to the Minister of Agriculture (Hon Jim Sutton). NAWAC says the traps and devices concerned raise significant animal welfare concerns.

The traps at issue are rodent glueboards and certain leg-hold traps (Lanes-Ace, Victor No. 1 ½ (hard jaw), Victor No. 3 and all similar traps). The device in question is the electroimmobiliser. (Background information on the traps and device follows on Page 2 of this release below.)

Mark Neeson, Principal Adviser, MAF Policy, says the Ministry has prepared three discussion papers on the proposals for consultation and discussion purposes only. The discussion papers canvass options for regulation or non-regulation of the use of these traps and the device. They do not represent the policy of the Government or MAF.

"MAF’s analysis shows that animal welfare concerns do exist over the use of the named traps and devices. Public consultation will help us determine the extent of their use, whether prohibitions should proceed, and matters such as the feasibility of transitions to alternatives," Mr Neeson says.

Initial contacts with the food processing industry suggest there is significant interest in the proposals regarding glueboards.

There is also known public concern about the use of leg-hold traps such as the well-known gin-trap.

MAF understands electroimmobilisers are not widely used in New Zealand. NAWAC’s proposal to prohibit their commercial use (with an exception for bona fide research purposes) has been supported by Federated Farmers of New Zealand, Deer Industry New Zealand, the Deer Farmers Association, the Royal New Zealand Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and the New Zealand Veterinary Association.

Copies of the discussion papers are available from the Ministry’s Information Bureau, phone 474-4100 ext. 48436. They will also be on the MAF website in the near future.

Submissions on the discussion papers close on 28 February 2003.

For further information, please contact:

Mark Neeson, Principal Adviser, MAF Policy

Contact MPI

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0800 00 83 33