Response from DEFRA regarding the use of Goodnature A24 trap

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.

Yours sincerely,

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-in-Snare-300x169(1)

Fox caught in an illegal snare

Snared-Badger-web

Badger caught in an illegal snare

Tawny-owl-in-illegal-trap

Tawny Owl caught in illegally set tunnel trap

unidentified-bird-in-ellgal

Unidentified bird caught in illegal trap

Buzzard-in-crow-trap

Buzzard caught in crow trap.

clubbing-buzzard-to-death

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.

6 comments to Response from DEFRA regarding the use of Goodnature A24 trap

  • Alastair Henderson

    Er….. the trap has been approved for rats and stoats according to the quoted response.
    The photograph of the unidentified bird caught in the tunnel trap, from the relative size and the plumage remains, it looks very much like a Merlin. This trap had obviously not been inspected for some considerable time contrary to the law covering this type of trap.

    Editor’s Comment. No the DEFRA response does not say the traps use had been approved for use against rats and stoats yet. What DEFRA are saying is that – 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- when approved.

  • Robin Waterman

    I thought the Defra letter said it HAD been approved in 2015 for use against rats and stoats?

    Editor’s Comment. No the DEFRA response does not say the traps use had been approved for use against rats and stoats yet. What DEFRA are saying is that – 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- when approved.

    • Robin Waterman

      Er…..no it doesn’t, it says: “The trap may be used only for the purpose of killing stoats and rats.
      The trap must be so placed that it can only be entered by way of an artificial tunnel which is suitable for the purpose.” It is approved. The Order makes this clear.

  • Thorbjorn Odinsberg

    The unidentified bird in the Fenn trap appears to be a juvenile Ring ouzel or Mistle thrush, certainly not a Merlin wrong legs and feet. The 24 trap I believe has been approved for use to kill rats and stoats.

  • Alastair Henderson

    Far be it from me to be seen to contradict the interpretation which the Editor has arrived at regarding the current status of the Goodnature A24 Rat and Stoat Trap. Perhaps someone should blow the whistle on the current sale of these traps in the UK? It is obvious that anyone spending over £100 for one trap isn’t going to leave it in the box!

  • Robin Waterman

    I spoke to Natural England yesterday and they confirmed that this trap is approved for use in England.

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