News of the decision emerged in a notification made by Defra to the European Commission, which oversees Member States’ implementation of the Agreement on Humane Trapping Standards (AIHTS).

The notification reveals that in line with a Government public consultation earlier this year, recently approved stoat traps are to be added to the Spring Traps Approvals Order as soon as the Parliamentary timetable allows. However, an additional measure removing the use of existing stoat traps is now to be delayed a year until April 1, 2020.

Glynn Evans, BASC head of game and deer, said: “Along with other organisations, BASC has consistently advised that more time would be required to facilitate the transition to AIHTS-compliant traps for gamekeepers and others who trap stoats.

“BASC submitted a robust response to the public consultation earlier this year. Government has listened to these concerns.

“While the timescales are still tight to replace non-compliant stoat traps by 2020, this extra time should go a long way to reducing the difficulties which would have occurred without it.”

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