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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69772
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I have been advised by DEFRA to seek legal advice on issues

Customer Question

I have been advised by DEFRA to seek legal advice on issues I have raised with them in relation to animal control is this something you can help with
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Hi.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
-Could you explain your situation a little more?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Jo

The points I have raised with defra are - in relation to mole control by trap use- the traps are exempt from any trap laws according to defra- however one trap employs a wire loop that upon release reduces in size around the body of the animal- this is described in the English dictionary as a snare- but defra say it would be down to the person using it to decide what they considered it - if a snare then laws for snares will apply - if they consider it a trap then laws to traps would apply - in the case of mole traps there are none, they advise that it would be for the courts to decide as there is no legal definition to this as to date

also that they say that it would be down to the courts to decide if a case came to court whether the not inspecting a mole trap - in line with other traps used in animal management on a daily basis that possible unnecessary suffering may have been caused

And the last point was a trap that has two tines that close around the body of the mole - tines in the dictionary are described as found on a fork to impale or pierce so the intent is to impale or stab the mole which is a mammal and therefore is this trap illegal under the mammal act which says it is an offence to stab impale or pierce a mammal

thanks Jo

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Ok. So what would you like to know about this please?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

in a court of law would the trap with a wire loop be considered a snare

would not checking a mole trap on a daily basis be considered an offence under the animal welfare act as the intent is to cause possible unnecessary suffering

is a trap that intent is to impale illegal for use against a mammal even the mole

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
You will find the definition of a snare, such as it is, here
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1981/69/section/11
and it seems to me that it is a self locking snare and so included.
In terms of the Animal Welfare Act 2006, this is not a protected animal so isn't automatically included. However, you could argue that it is under the control of man. Whether you check a trap or not is not likely to make any difference to that. If a trap is used to impale an animal then that does cause unnecessary suffering.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Jo
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Jo thanks for this

the wire loop on the trap that you consider is a locking snare- would this make it illegal to use ?

I thought that the animal welfare act includes any animal under the control of man so as defra keep saying would a court of law consider not checking a trap as an offence if it was found that a mole was caught unintentionally alive in a kill trap

the trap with the tines that close around the body come with instructions that state that the trap should be tied down to prevent the caught mole dragging it down the tunnel- this would create the effect of a mole like a fish on a hook fighting the trap which is holding it by these two tines- so the instructions clearly indicate that the mole will be caught alive

could you just clarify these points

thanks

jeff

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
If it is self locking then it is included.
The Animal Welfare Act does include any animal under the control of man but wild animals are obviously not normally under the control of man. If this is an animal under the control of man then there is a risk that failing to check would amount to unnecessary suffering.
I'm not sure what you mean by the second point? Obviously this isn't a trap that harms the animal in terms of actual impact but it is possible to argue that being kept in a trap for a lengthy period of time would harm the animal in terms of stress.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69772
Experience: Over 5 years in practice
Jo C. and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I'm not sure what you mean by the second point? Obviously this isn't a trap that harms the animal in terms of actual impact but it is possible to argue that being kept in a trap for a lengthy period of time would harm the animal in terms of stress.

Yes the trap employs two tines one each side that close around the body - it is then held until stress, starvation or dehydration will set in- I have studied the time for irreversible un consciousness and this seems a cruel trap as the impact will hold - hence the instructions that come to say tie the trap down as the mole will drag it away still wrapped in it- this cannot be acceptable and must be an illegal trap to use or even sell can you confirm that this is an illegal trap

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
I do agree with the view that you imply.
This would seem to be unnecesary suffering.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Jo

Thank you for your advice on this - can I return to you with further points on this when I get my reply from defra on the issue I raised

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Yes, no problem.
Come back when you like.

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