A motion which could have seen a European ban on the use of decoy birds in live-catch traps, such as the Larsen trap commonly used for magpies, has been defeated in the European parliament.

Magpie in larsen trap

MEPs voted overwhelmingly to reject a proposed amendment to animal health regulations which aimed to ban the use of live decoys because of unfounded claims that they could transmit disease.

BASC and other organisations, working with the European representative body FACE (Federation of European Hunting Organisations), lobbied MEPs to vote against the amendment, tabled by an MEP representing the Green Party. The amendment was defeated by 468 votes to 164.

BASC’s Dr. Conor O’Gorman said: “This was a prime example of an attempt to slip a change through the back door of European legislation. It could have had far-reaching consequences. The use of decoy birds in humane live-catch traps in the UK is a widespread and very successful method of controlling magpies and other corvids, which take eggs and young from songbirds and game and other ground-nesting birds.

The UK’s representative organisations such as BASC were able to work successfully through FACE to ensure this damaging amendment was thrown out of the European parliament.”        


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