The Field - - Queries -

QI am a new­comer to the coun­try­side and do not wish to in­ter­fere but I suspect some­one is il­le­gally catching birds. He is un­ap­proach­able and has a few cage traps. Is there a pro­ce­dure for this?

GF, by email

AThe RSPB says in the first in­stance if you suspect some­one of trap­ping or poi­son­ing birds then, if pos­si­ble, pho­to­graph any ev­i­dence, not­ing the date and lo­ca­tion. Cer­tain spring-traps can be used legally to kill rats and weasels but they have to be set un­der cover to pre­vent in­jury. If a spring-trap is mounted on a pole, this is il­le­gal and must be re­ported. If you find such a trap with a dead bird in it, don’t touch the cage. In­stead, take a pho­to­graph and con­tact the po­lice or RSPB im­me­di­ately. Cage traps can be used to trap cer­tain species legally but they have strict guide­lines to ad­here to. For ex­am­ple, if a de­coy bird is used then ad­e­quate food and wa­ter should be sup­plied. Again, one should not in­ter­fere with these traps but con­tact the po­lice or RSPB if un­sure about their le­gal­ity.

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