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Saturday, 7 July 2012

Traps in the Scottish countryside: A walker’s guide

Illegal Fen Trap

In my walks in Scotland I have often come across animal traps. I have always felt a sickening unease when finding them, imagining the horrors of the animal, be it a bird or mammal stuck in the things either crushed and dead or waiting patiently for the gamekeeper to come along to murder it.

I will admit to being so appalled that I have freed the odd crow or two from a Larsen trap, perhaps illegally.
The main purpose of trapping animals in our countryside, by those that set them, is to kill animals that they see as a threat to their business, which more often than not is to rear birds to be shot for entertainment. I have never known whether or not the traps I was looking at were legal or not. I am sure you have been in the same position.

With thanks to David Lintern on Facebook I have found a webpage that explains which traps are legal and illegal and what to do if you find a trap that you believe is illegal.

You can find it by clicking HERE

19 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. I am just pleased to be passing on the excellent message on the "OneKind" website.

      I now know what is and is not legal and what to do if I think it's illegal.

      Delete
  2. Looking at those traps makes me feel somewhat queasy. I shall photograph any trap I see and log its location.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And report it to the relevant authority if you think it's illegal.
      :-)

      Delete
    2. Interesting Al.
      We see a lot if traps, but never really know if they are acceptable or not.
      Some of course would say always not, but I am not a member if that fraternity.
      I do however think they should be legal.
      And that opens up a can of worms.

      Delete
    3. I think if estates want to go about executing certain species of wildlife, we should expect at the very least that they comply with the law. If they don't they are just cruel murderers. It appears that the law at least attempts to make the killing humane.

      If the keepers and estates are operating traps outside the law they are nothing more than brutal murderers.

      Delete
  3. Thanks for sharing this Alan. I've seen a few things out on the hills that have made me feel uncomfortable (the Deeside/Mounth/Angus area seems particularly bad for it) so it is good to know how to proceed with regard to identification and reporting.

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  4. Some good points Alan. And the comments on the Traps blog are doubly interesting. Excellent that both sides of the trap have taken the opportunity to speak.

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  5. Thanks for that, Alan. I often come across fen traps on the moors up here, so I shall be paying more attention to see if they are legally set in future.
    Alen McF

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi Nick, Alan & Alen

    I think it's a great blogpost from "OneKind". I now feel far better prepared to take on illegal traps and the estates that carry out this law-breaking.

    There has been a spate of illegal poisoning of raptors in the last few months - and the dead birds are always to be found on hunting estates. Until the estate owners are fined heavily or imprisoned, this will continue. It's time to turn the tables and to make them take responsibility for their gamekeepers actions.

    ReplyDelete
  7. This article:

    http://www.thecourier.co.uk/News/Perthshire/article/23592/glen-lyon-estate-gamekeeper-fined-for-buzzard-s-death-in-trap.html

    is a case in point. Never mind the daft headline (buzzards rare? aye right); the fact is, the glen lyon estate has been notorious for years for trying to keep folks from straying off the Munro-bagging paths with the excuse that birds are nesting. The reality is, estates hate hill walkers going off paths because we can discover illegal traps set all over the shop. Good info there, Alan, thanks for the link. I've reported more than one case to the police in the past. Thing is, they never tell you if they prosecute the estate but still you get a warm fuzzy feeling when you know you're keeping gamekeepers on their toes.

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  8. I have come across similar things from time to time and unhesitatingly sabotage them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Welcome, Sir Hugh.
      Whatever your conscience dictates...
      :-)

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    2. The whole thing is quite disgusting. Just a small point which is important for funding: it's the SSPCA in Scotland not the RSPCA as said on the TGOC Message Board.

      Delete
    3. Hi Gibson - welcome back - and thanks for the info on the SSPCA (It is mentioned on the article itself - but I will clarify it over on the Challenge Message Board just in case.)
      :-)

      Delete
  9. hey i too find this sickening, but thanks for sharing the link to help me understand which traps are illegal.

    ReplyDelete
  10. onekind.org Page Not Found

    https://onekind.org/live_onekind/blog_article/traps_in_our_countryside_a_walkers_guide

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Anonymous, for pointing out the broken link.

      After a little detective work, I've found that the One Kind website has changed quite a bit and so I have now fixed the link to go to the the correct page.

      Cheers.

      Delete

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