Health, safety & legislation articles for pest control

20 March 2018

Defra consultation on the implementation of the Agreement on International Humane Trapping Standards

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) is seeking views on proposals for implementing the Agreement on International Humane Trapping Standards (AIHTS) in the UK.

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Defra is also seeking evidence on the supply, use and marking of traps to inform the impact assessment better.

The consultation opened on 19 March 2018 and will close on 30 March 2018.

What is the Agreement on International Humane Trapping Standards?

The Agreement on Human trapping standards (AIHTS) aims to ensure a sufficient level of welfare of trapped animals and to improve this welfare further.

The agreement covers trapping of animals for the purposes of pest control, as well as fur, skin or meat, conservation, and general wildlife management purposes.

AIHTS covers a range of species commonly trapped outside the UK for commercial purposes.

Of the 19 AIHTS species, only five occur in the wild in the UK:

  • European Badger, Meles meles
  • European Beaver, Castor fiber 
  • European Otter, Lutra lutra
  • Pine Marten, Martes martes
  • Stoat, Mustela ermine.

What is the consultation for?

This consultation sets out proposals for how the AIHTS will be implemented in the UK to improve the welfare of certain trapped animals and also to gather information on the supply, use and marking of traps to better inform our impact assessment.

The implementation of AIHTS chiefly impacts on those in the UK who trap species covered by the Agreement, such as:

  • Trap retailers
  • Manufacturers and importers
  • Pest control companies
  • Gamekeepers
  • Country estates/farms and other land managers
  • Conservation organisations
  • Traders of fur and fur products derived from trapped animals

Implementation in the UK

This is a UK-wide consultation.

Regulations made in England, Scotland and Wales, will implement the AIHTS by amending the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.

Northern Ireland will implement by amending their own legislation.

It is anticipated that the implementing legislation will come into force on 1 January 2019.

Your view

You can make sure that the views of you and your company are taken into consideration by completing the online questionnaire

Responses should be received by midnight on 30 April.

Take the survey


Consultee letter PDF document 118 Kb Download
Consultation document PDF document 328 Kb Download
Consultation document (Welsh language version) PDF document 383 Kb Download
Survey (print off or email version) PDF document 287 Kb Download 
Impact assessment PDF document 448Kb Download
Agreement on International Humane Trapping Standards (AIHTS) PDF document 71 Kb Download
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