We are calling on SPCA New Zealand to take action under the Animal Welfare Act on the New Zealand man who posted a TikTok of himself punching a possum in the face.
The SPCA have reported an upswing of cruelty in recent years towards animals classified as pests. We want the SPCA to take this behaviour seriously because all animals are sentient, capable of pain and suffering, regardless of their legal classification.
Why is this important?
The TikTok showed the New Zealand man punching a possum in the face, outraging animal advocates and people across New Zealand.
The video shows a young possum perched on a fence with a voice saying “Hey dick, what are you doing there?” A second voice asks “Shall I smack him?” The first voice answers “Smack him.”
A closed fist is then seen punching the possum hard in the face causing it to fly off the fence backwards. An audible smack can be heard. Laughter from the two individuals which aren’t shown on camera follows.
Direct Animal Action believes the video is deplorable and is an act of animal cruelty.
While possums are considered 'pests' in New Zealand, what is shown in the TikTok is blatant animal cruelty and is not acceptable behaviour.
The fact that it is being glorified on social media makes it even more disturbing.
Unfortunately possums have been demonised in New Zealand due to their legal status as pests. This has encouraged a culture in our country where cruelty towards animals classified as pests, like possums, is seen as acceptable to many New Zealanders.
SPCA New Zealand say they have seen an upswing in cruelty towards animals classified as pests in recent years and that, under the law, animals may be killed humanely, but causing cruelty to an animal is against the law and in breach of the Animal Welfare Act.
Direct Animal Action have reported the TikTok to SPCA New Zealand and an investigation is now underway.
We are calling on the SPCA not to take this lightly because the animal involved is classified as a pest, but to take serious action under the Animal Welfare Act.
We would also like the man to undertake community service at his local SPCA animal shelter, so that he can learn the importance of compassion and respect towards all animal species.
People need to know that animal abuse should not be used as a tool to get more views, likes and shares on social media and that all animals are sentient, capable of pain and suffering, regardless of their legal classification.
How it will be delivered
We will present the petition to the SPCA New Zealand at their head office in New Lynn, Auckland.