Animal welfare and trapping
IntroductionDOC recommends the use of traps that have passed the National Animal Welfare Advisory Committee (NAWAC) testing guidelines.
In New Zealand trap use is regulated by the Animal Welfare Act 1999. An individual or group could be prosecuted for using trapping or killing methods that does not comply with the Act.
Traps do not legally need to meet a standard of killing or welfare performance. However, NAWAC developed a guideline for testing the welfare performance of traps.
DOC recommends the use of traps that pass the NAWAC guideline test to help ensure that trapped animals do not suffer unreasonable or unnecessary pain or distress.
The following table shows a list of traps that has passed the NAWAC guidelines testing for each species. You can use this information to help you select your traps.
NAWAC guideline table
Y = tested and is humane for that type of pest
|Trap||Ship Rat||Norway Rat||Stoat||Ferret||Hedgehog||Possum||Feral Cat|
|Envirotools D-Rat ‘Lumberjack’1||Y|
|Envirotools Supervisor MAX||Y|
|Victor Professional PCR mod||Y||Y||Y|
|Goodnature A12 (discontinued)||Y|
|SA Coni (discontinued)||Y|
|Twizel kill trap (discontinued)||Y|
|Belisle Super X 220||Y|
|SA2 Kat trap||Y||Y|
|NZ AutoTraps “AT220”||Y||Y|
|Victor No.1 double coil spring unpadded||Y|
|No.1 double coil spring unpadded with chain-spring and swivel modifications3||Y|
- Testing was undertaken using the standard D-Rat trap (includes shroud/yellow cover) in a wooden box.
- Includes the T-Rex trap with the new EVO tunnel.
- Details on modifications and pass grade can be found in the testing report 'Assessing the welfare performance of restraining and kill traps' from the NAWAC guidelines (PDF, 312K).
The tests relate to the welfare performance of the traps, not to their capture efficiency, safety, costs, or target specificity.
To test humaneness, NAWAC sets thresholds for injuries for live traps, and time limits for an animal to become 'irreversibly unconscious' in kill traps. You can learn more about how NAWAC performs its humaneness assessments in their welfare guidelines for traps.
Your responsibilities when trapping
- Traps that are set for the purpose of catching alive the animal (like cage or leghold trap) must be inspected within 12 hrs of sunrise. This checking requirement does not apply to kill traps.
- Live trapped animals must be attended to or killed without delay.
- Certain sizes of leghold trap and glueboard traps for rodents have been prohibited by Order of Council under the Animal Welfare Act.
If you have questions about the best approach for trapping predators as part of our Predator Free 2050 goal get in touch with one of our Predator Free Rangers.