The SPCA is again warning the public that possums cannot be mistreated just because they are pests, after video emerged of a man deliberately running over one of the creatures.

The video shows a young motorist leaning out of his car window to line up his rear tyre with the possum, which is on the ground and appears to be alive.

He then accelerates over the possum as onlookers laugh.

It is believed to have occurred a few weeks ago in North Canterbury. The video was posted on a local Facebook page before being quickly removed. The identities of the men in the video are not known.

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SPCA chief executive Andrea Midgen said she had seen the video footage and had asked the organisation's inspector to investigate it.

"For the third time in a fortnight I am again shocked and disturbed," she said.

SPCA chief executive Andrea Midgen said she'd like to remind New Zealanders that
SPCA chief executive Andrea Midgen said she'd like to remind New Zealanders that "this is not pest control, this is completely unnecessary cruelty". Photo / Supplied

The latest case of abuse comes after an incident last week in which students from a Rotorua school threw a small bird into a wall and stomped on it. In another incident two weeks ago, a young man in Timaru was filmed punching a possum.

Midgen said of the latest video: "I'd like to remind New Zealanders: this is not pest control, this is completely unnecessary cruelty.

"All animals are protected under New Zealand law, not just the species we see as pets."

She said anyone with further information on the video should contact their local SPCA centre.

"Animals in New Zealand rely on everyone to speak out on their behalf," she said.