Following the a proposal that yet another trap was to be brought to Britain to kill unwanted species regarded as vermin by the shooting industry, we have attached below the response from DEFRA about this new device and its potential use. Their response is below
With regard to your comments about the Goodnature A24 trap, before a new spring trap is brought into the market it must first be approved for use via a Spring Trap Approval Order made in England and Wales under the Pests Act 1954, Scotland under the Agriculture (Scotland) Act 1948 and Northern Ireland under the Wildlife (Northern Ireland) Order 1985.
The humaneness of the trap is assessed before it is approved for use. Trap evaluation is currently carried out by the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA), which then recommends whether a trap should be approved or not and, if so, what conditions of use (placement criteria, permitted target species) should apply.
Under the Spring Traps Approval (Variation) (England) Order 2015, the Goodnature A24 Rat and Stoat Trap may only be used for the purpose of killing rats and stoats. The trap must also be placed so that it can only be entered by way of an artificial tunnel which is suitable for that purpose.
No spring trap is approved for use against hedgehogs or red squirrels, which are protected from all traps by section 11(2)(b) of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.
A condition of use for all approved spring traps is that so far as is practicable without unreasonably compromising its use, the trap must be used in a manner that minimises the likelihood of its killing, taking or injuring non-target species. It is for the trapper to make sure conditions of use are complied with and offenses against protected species are not committed.
Where the safety of protected species cannot be reasonably assured, the use of non-lethal methods of capture, such as cage trapping, should be employed so non-target species can be released if accidentally captured.
Kevin Woodhouse Ministerial Contact Unit Defra
So if this is the way most traps in Britain are used why are so many killing protected species like Red Squirrel, Polecat, Hedgehog, Merlin, Ring Ouzel and Dipper! The issue here is that none of the traps being used today can not be properly managed to prevent non target species being trapped and killed, so should be banned. For example –
Larson and the larger Crow traps can capture anything from a Golden Eagle, Goshawk to a Buzzard. How many are released unharmed after being trapped is a question?
Dyke traps which are in the open and placed across ditches have the capability to kill from an Otter to a Tawny owl and have been found with Merlin, Red Squirrel and even Dipper contained in them. Nails are supposed to limit access via the netting placed over the trap!
Tunnel Traps have been used for years and have killed many Grey Squirrels as well as Red Squirrels. And what about snares! A long list of species are killed by them most of them which are supposed to be protected like Brown Hare and Badger.
Fox caught in an illegal snare
Badger caught in an illegal snare
Tawny Owl caught in illegally set tunnel trap
Unidentified bird caught in illegal trap
Buzzard caught in crow trap.
Gamekeeper clubbing trapped buzzard to death
All this killing can create a plaque of Rats or Rabbits as their main predators are removed. For the Rats this often causes the use of poison which again can cause secondary poisoning in species that feed on the dead and dying mammals. Rabbits have had diseases brought to this country to kill the numbers like Myxomatosis resulting in a once organic green food being lost to the public as well as damage to the countryside estimated at £200 million a year.
So the Goodnature A24 trap has not been passed yet, and should not be, as it can not be seen to limit killing to the 2 species it is intended to kill.