Animal welfare in fur recovery
Hunters and trappers must adhere to laws including the Animal Welfare Act 1999.
Trap users have a duty of care for the welfare of the animals they capture. The conduct that is, and is not, permissible in relation to any animal is covered by the Animal Welfare Act 1999 – that is to prevent unnecessary pain, suffering or distress.
The New Zealand Fur Council also endorses the International Fur Trade Federation commitment to the Agreement on International Humane Trapping Standards – that is that any traps used for any reason must reach a humane standard which, requires the animal to be killed outright and quickly. Traplines must be visited within a day of being set and leg hold traps must be non-toothed.
Hunters generally use leg hold traps or cyanide paste for fur recovery.
Cyanide is considered the most humane poison of the six poisons currently registered in New Zealand for possum control. It is rapid action (possums are rendered unconscious within six minutes and die in 10-20 minutes compared with 1080, 4-12 hours; Brodifacoum, 1-2 weeks; or Pindone, 2-3 weeks). Cyanide has low environmental persistence, and low secondary poisoning risk (other animals unlikely to die if eating dead possum).