AN ILLEGAL TRAP?
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.