TikTok video of New Zealander punching a possum outrages animal advocates

Warning: This story contains graphic details which may disturb some people.

A video showing a New Zealander punching a possum has outraged animal advocates, who have branded their actions as "despicable" and "blatant animal cruelty".

The clip, posted to TikTok, shows a small possum sitting on a fence. One person can be heard saying, "hey dick, what are you doing there?" 

A second voice asks, "shall I smack him?" to which the first person responds, "smack him".

The person then hits the possum with a closed fist, causing it to fly backwards off the fence. An audible smack can be heard, followed by laughter from the two people.

Direct Animal Action spokesperson Deirdre Sims says the video is deplorable.

"While possums are considered 'pests' in New Zealand, what is shown in this TikTok video is blatant animal cruelty and this is not acceptable behaviour," she says.

"The fact that it is being glorified on social media makes it even more despicable."

Many of the comments on the video appear to find the clip humorous, with one labelling it the "greatest TikTok of all time".

Sims says they have reported the video to the SPCA, who have launched an investigation.

"People need to know animal abuse should not be used as a tool to get more views, likes, and shares on social media."

A spokesperson for the SPCA confirmed to Newshub the investigation is ongoing.

"We have seen an upswing in cruelty to pest animals over the last wee while and SPCA will not tolerate cruelty or abuse of any animal, pest or not," the spokesperson said.

"Animals may be killed humanely, but causing cruelty to an animal is against the law and in breach of the Animal Welfare Act."