Leg trap found near Greytown. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

PAM GRAHAM
pam.graham@age.co.nz

Two dangerous leg-hold traps have been found in a public recreation area at the end of Kuratawhiti St in Greytown, prompting a warning from the SPCA to pet owners to take care.

The two traps were immediately seized by an SPCA inspector and a warning notice was placed on the sites where they were found.

The SPCA inspectors were concerned that while there were no additional traps seen, it was a very large wooded area by the Waiohine River and they could not rule out that there were more traps.

The Animal Welfare [Leg Hold Traps] Order 2007 prohibits leg-hold traps to be used within 150 metres of any dwelling without the occupier’s permission, or in any area where there is a probable risk of catching a companion animal.

Even if you do satisfy these conditions, you have to check it daily within 12 hours of sunrise or face possible cruelty charges if an animal is caught and you fail to deal with it in a humane way.

“SPCA wants to remind our community: Don’t set leg-hold traps in urban areas or areas where there is a probable risk of catching a companion animal,” SPCA inspectorate team leader Ben Lakomy said.

The area in which they were found was regularly used by dog walkers, and these traps would pose a significant risk.

“The risks to pets are real and we don’t want to see any animals unnecessarily injured – or possibly killed – by this,” he said.

“People walking in the area, with dogs or not, should use caution and keep an eye out for any additional leg-hold traps.”

Lakomy said SPCA was hoping to identify the person responsible, educate them, and prevent any risk to animal welfare.

“Anyone who has any information, discovers one of these traps, or finds an animal who has been caught in one, should contact SPCA immediately,” Lakomy said.