What should you do if a legal stoat trap is tampered with or replaced with a non-legal trap (Fenn trap)?
We are aware of occasions when legal traps have been tampered with damaged or stolen. The new restrictions on Fenn traps for targeting stoats could potentially create a situation where Fenn traps are deliberately set to suggest a criminal act has taken place i.e. a legal stoat trap could be switched for a Fenn trap, or Fenn traps could be set around stoat populations by others (without the gamekeeper’s knowledge).
Gamekeepers must be alert to this potential situation and ensure they can safeguard themselves in the event of such a situation. Keeping good up-to-date records of all traps set on your shoot will help. Even taking a photo of the legal trap once in position could be an option.
If you suspect such a “set-up” has occurred, contact the police (call 101) and report the crime. If possible, take some images of the planted trap. Do not ignore this situation if it occurs, it is vital that all incidents are reported and given a crime number to ensure the scale of such incidents are known and investigated properly.
If you are concerned that you may be targeted in this way, BASC advise that shoots contact their local police and inform them of your concerns. Ensure they are aware that your shoot has removed all Fenn traps from locations with known stoat populations. This will ensure the police in the area are aware of the law change (regarding stoat trapping) and have logged the compliant steps you have taken to ensure compliance.