A walker has found a decapitated Great Spotted Woodpecker in a lethal Defra approved trap at Haughton Hall, nr Tarporley, Cheshire owned by Phillip Robert Posnett.
The Kania 2000 spring trap is designed to kill racoons and is imported from Canada with approval from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).
Trap approval generally has conditions attached including one to the effect that traps must be used within a suitable tunnel. (Exceptionally a tunnel is integral to the trap). This condition is designed to prevent the capture of birds or larger mammals.
Details and photographic evidence was passed to a wildlife expert who commented: “I’m not sure they are being operated as required by the Springs Traps Approval Order which requires that they are ‘fitted with an artificial tunnel which is suitable for purpose’. It is clear the encasement they are supplied with does not count as a “tunnel”, especially as the traps were designed to catch racoons!
“Consequently, there is no reason why in an unmodified state it should exclude non-targets, especially habitual tree-crevice investigators like woodpeckers.
“In addition, Section 5 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 makes it obligatory, if approved traps are being set in the open, for the operator to take “all reasonable precautions to prevent injury to wild birds”. I am not sure that in its unmodified state, the Kania Trap falls under this requirement.”
When the Bristish Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC) were informed by the police of the incident they simply stated that the Kania Trap is legal. Because of the questionable legality of this trap, we urge the public to provide us with any sightings.