Possums were first released into New Zealand in 1837 to establish a fur trade. They were initially protected to allow numbers to increase.
Today, the ‘wild fur’ trade is big business in New Zealand. Possums are trapped or poisoned in the name of conservation, then sold for fur, thus marketing possum fur as an ‘ethical and sustainable’ choice.
Leghold traps and cyanide poisoning are the recommended methods of trapping and killing possums, both of which cause the animals immense suffering. Ferrets and stoats are also targeted, although they are not commonly used for their fur.