Essential use of traps for predator control

The various traps in the photos have been set on wood rails, these traps are crucial to gamekeepers in their battle to help protect Ground Nesting Birds.  Unfortunately if you look closely at the pictures you can see that these traps have been set off by members of the public with pieces of stick.  Regardless of whether this was done as a silly prank or done with malicious intent the only real damage being done by springing the trap is the increased risk to the ground nesting birds from predators.

The Fenn Traps will cease to be legal for stoats from April 2020 but will still be useable for weasels, rats and squirrels.  Two new traps have now been approved as run-through tunnel traps rather than just a baited dead end set, these are the DOC and the Tully trap.  Both of these traps meet the higher welfare standards of the Agreement on International Humane Trapping Standards (AIHTS) of which the UK is a signatory.  One thing to be aware of is that the approval of the DOC series is dependent on the user following the manufacturer’s instructions, which require baffles either side of a run-through DOC and contain very specific requirements for their positioning.  The instructions were amended slightly in January and the up to date version can be found at

Further potential replacement traps are in the pipeline and if they pass the stringent testing process in place they could be available before next April.

Regardless of the trap being used the one thing to note is that these are set by trained professionals and it is against the law to tamper with these set traps.