27 April 2017

BPCA attend DEFRA meeting regarding trapping

Dee Ward-Thompson attended a DEFRA meeting held on 31 January regarding trapping. 38 people attended the meeting, including farmers, gamekeepers and pest controllers. BPCA were the only pest control association represented.

EU legislation is in place regarding traps for stoats across 28 member states, and the UK is the only one that doesn't comply. We are compliant in relation to traps for beavers, pine martens and otters. Some stoat traps have been tested and proven compliant with legislation in the EU and it had been hoped that this data would translate across and could be used in the UK. However, ‘our' stoats are not killed within the stipulated time to death of 45 seconds (NB: rats required time to death, by comparison, is 300 seconds).

While pest controllers are not regularly asked to actively catch stoats (unlike, say, gamekeepers), if a stoat is accidentally caught by pest control activity then this may be an offence. We are not sure exactly of the timescale, but as early as June 2016 the UK Government may be at risk of an infraction.

There are currently no traps in the UK approved for despatching stoats, and we have been informed that there will not be any derogation granted. Once a proper timeline is available BPCA will keep members informed. Current advice is that if your risk assessment of the site is of a sufficient standard, then accidental trapping of a stoat will not be prosecuted. Dee Ward-Thompson will be available at PPC Live should you have any specific questions.

Back to news