The SPCA has welcomed the conviction of a man who caught a pet cat in a prohibited trap.
Paul Parsons of Palmerston North was fined $500 and ordered to pay $380 in court and legal costs after catching a neighbour's cat in a leg hold trap with serrated edges on October 11 last year.
The unlucky black cat was found by its owner. Parsons admitted the trap, affixed to a tree on his property, was intended to stop the moggy hunting birds on his property.
"The actions of the defendant are clearly completely unacceptable and irresponsible," says SPCA chief executive Ric Odom.
"What if a small child had caught their hand or foot in the trap? Leg hold traps have absolutely no place in urban areas. No one should be setting these cruel traps anywhere near houses or where domestic pets may be caught in them."
Animal welfare laws prohibit the use of leg hold traps within 150m of a dwelling without the owner's permission. The particular kind of trap Parsons used has been banned since 2009.
"The SPCA wants this conviction to send a clear message to anyone considering setting leg hold traps...don't do it," says Mr Odom.
According to philanthropist Gareth Morgan's Cats to Go campaign, felines have contributed to the extinction of nine native bird species.