Larsen traps (traps that use live decoy birds) in order to catch others.

applecart14

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Someone I know is using a Larsen trap. They have provided food, water and perch for the bird although no shelter. Does anyone know how long a decoy bird can be left in a larsen trap for before it has to be despatched? This particular bird in question is a magpie. It is being used to control game bird population on a neighbouring farm - a lot of the birds roam across the field the cage is in which is the magpies flight path.

For those that do not know what a Larsen trap is if you scroll down to the video on the left of the screen you will see a decoy bird in a larsen trap. If you are of a delicate disposition do not watch the video on the right side of the screen as you will find it upsetting. (I did not specifically put this website link to elicit anger within folk - its the only site I can find that shows a larsen trap 'in action'). http://www.againstcorvidtraps.co.uk/

For what its worth I do not agree with Larsen traps as I feel that the decoy bird suffers a great deal of stress whilst in the cage. I have been saddened to see this first hand this afternoon with someone I know using one. :( The magpie was (as the bird in the video does) continually flying from perch to perch, clearly distressed and bashing itself against the side of the bars.

I am told 'that it is the way of the countryside' but in my eyes this doesn't make it right. :mad: But that's my opinion. I do not want to be shot down in flames by country folk who think this is right but I just want my question answered, legally how long can a decoy bird be kept alive in a larsen trap in anyone period?
 
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tallyho!

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I have no idea but the link you have is clear in saying how to report this to the RSPB. I'm not sure why you are not calling the RSPB so they can deal with it.
 

Rose Folly

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I'm country born and bred. My family have farmed for over 400 years that we know of, and probably long before that. I loathe Larsen traps, and would be delighted to see them made illegal. I would have no hesitation in setting free a decoy bird I found in one. As a nation, we rail at the French, Spanish, Maltese etc. for shooting and netting birds. We are no better. Well done for bringing the subject up.
 

AdorableAlice

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There should be some form of shelter for the calling bird and the trap should be checked every 24 hours and caught birds dispatched quickly.

To my knowledge there is no set length of time the calling bird can be kept for.
 

Moomin1

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Larsen traps with decoy birds in have to by law be checked once in a twenty four hour period. Food, water, perch and shelter are a legal requirement so if there is no shelter they are committing an offence under the Wildlife and Countryside Act and this needs reporting or raising with the person in question.

RSPB do not have field officers so will not act in this way.
 

Littlelegs

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Sorry I don't know the answer as to how long they can be kept. But I think its disgusting & would delight in setting them free, twice a day if necessary to put them off just catching another.
 

applecart14

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tallyho!

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Errr this is why probably

"We are not opposed to legal, site-specific control of magpies, nor to the legal use of Larsen or other cage traps, as long as the general licence conditions are strictly adhered to."


http://www.rspb.org.uk/wildlife/birdguide/name/m/magpie/legal_control_methods.aspx
Ok, well, calm down. I didn't mean what I said in a bad way, it was just a suggestion. Seems you now have the advice of more knowledgeable people, so I'll shut my trap.
 

Moomin1

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Applecart the RSPB don't deal with complaints unfortunately -they only offer advice over the phone to people.

The general licence is not being adhered to in this instance so offences are being committed. Any offence committed under the Wildlife and Countryside act are strict liability offences and can result in imprisonment (quite often do) so they are taken VERY seriously.
 

Tormenta

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It's bound to be distressed, they are very intelligent birds and mate for life like many corvids do.

I am country born and bred too and I don't like these things, I first stumbled across them on my wanderings as a child in the 1970s and it was distressing to see although the decoy was a Carrion Crow.

I think there are certainly more humane ways of controlling species in the UK and it hasn't been unknown for birds of prey to be caught in these traps either thinking they were onto a lucky lunch. Tunnel traps can also be indiscriminate, a gamekeeper in England recently was sentenced due to trapping a Tawny Owl in one and not checking regularly, the Tawny survived.

Info for you here http://www.basc.org.uk/en/codes-of-practice/trapping-pest-birds.cfm
 

guido16

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My OH has a shooting business. He says they need check twice a day, have food and water and it MUST have a licence number on it. If not, report it to BASC. Dont know number but google them. P.s he doesnt use them or agree with them!
 

Moomin1

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My OH has a shooting business. He says they need check twice a day, have food and water and it MUST have a licence number on it. If not, report it to BASC. Dont know number but google them. P.s he doesnt use them or agree with them!
Guido maybe the rules are different in Scotland - but in England it only has to be checked once in a twenty four hour period. Really rubbish I know. :(

They also have to have shelter as part of the rules of the general licence.
 

bumblelion

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About 15 years ago (I was about 16), I came across one with a jackdaw in. Poor thing was out in blazing sun, no food, water or shelter. I was totally disgusted so went back with some wire cutters and set it free! I'd do it again if I came across another one!
 

applecart14

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Thanks for your help guys. Feel very sad about it. I'm not an overly sentimental person but seeing this poor bird flinging itself against the side of a cage in an effort to get free clearly distressed totally haunts me. And knowing its going to be killed eventually itself when its job is done and the other birds have been killed is what really gets to me. THe stress its under must be imense.
 

Tormenta

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Thanks for your help guys. Feel very sad about it. I'm not an overly sentimental person but seeing this poor bird flinging itself against the side of a cage in an effort to get free clearly distressed totally haunts me. And knowing its going to be killed eventually itself when its job is done and the other birds have been killed is what really gets to me. THe stress its under must be imense.
I know, that's why I don't like them, the stress. When I saw my first one as a child I thought the bird was stuck in a rabbit hutch/run, went home and asked my Dad to come and help me free it. The reality was then explained to me. I've hated them ever since.
 

bumblelion

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Just looked at the link posted by tormenta and the trap I found was nowhere near as big as those, was probably a quarter of the size! Was a long time ago though so the regs probably weren't as strict then but I'd still set one free if I saw another!
 

Alec Swan

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Applecart........ Or get the wire cutters out! Or kill it.
Do so, by all means, but you will most probably be committing criminal damage, be breaking the law, and may well end up in court.

When Game Keepers kill corvids, and all other vermin for that matter, they are not just protecting game birds, but all of our struggling songbird population, upon whom the vermin which they kill, preys.

Despite the constant war which is waged against vermin, they are incredibly tenacious and resilient. Society (that's you and I, by the way), is responsible for the declining wild bird populations in this country, and the corvid family are giving us the greatest assistance in this!!

Before you take the law into your own hands, think carefully about the bigger picture, and the results of your actions.

Alec.
 

Moomin1

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Do so, by all means, but you will most probably be committing criminal damage, be breaking the law, and may well end up in court.

When Game Keepers kill corvids, and all other vermin for that matter, they are not just protecting game birds, but all of our struggling songbird population, upon whom the vermin which they kill, preys.

Despite the constant war which is waged against vermin, they are incredibly tenacious and resilient. Society (that's you and I, by the way), is responsible for the declining wild bird populations in this country, and the corvid family are giving us the greatest assistance in this!!

Before you take the law into your own hands, think carefully about the bigger picture, and the results of your actions.

Alec.
Absolutely agree with regards protecting our songbirds etc. But there are offences being committed here and shelter isn't being provided for the decoy so something needs to be done. Personally, my advice would be to approach the person in question and suggest they provide adequate shelter. If they don't then I would be ringing the appropriate authorities.

I would be very careful OP in releasing or causing any damage to the trap - as Alec says you could find yourself on a sticky wicket.
 

Ravenwood

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I hate larsen traps and that video was quite upsetting :(

To be honest though I hate all caged birds, when we were kids we had zebra finches in a cage and they used to just hop from one side to the other - as an adult I would never have "pet" birds in a cage :(
 

Ollie's Mum

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Can we be convinced though that the decline in songbirds can be firmly laid at the door of the corvids? There are other factors like changing farming practices resulting in loss of habitat, use of pesticides etc Yes they can be nasty birds - pecking the eyes out of lambs as they're being born is a typical corvid trick - and they need to be controlled but are they responsible for all they're blamed for?

Incidentally I have an old farmhouse cookery recipe book that has a recipe for rook pie with a nice figgy pastry if anyone's interested?:p
 

Tormenta

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Do so, by all means, but you will most probably be committing criminal damage, be breaking the law, and may well end up in court.

When Game Keepers kill corvids, and all other vermin for that matter, they are not just protecting game birds, but all of our struggling songbird population, upon whom the vermin which they kill, preys.

Despite the constant war which is waged against vermin, they are incredibly tenacious and resilient. Society (that's you and I, by the way), is responsible for the declining wild bird populations in this country, and the corvid family are giving us the greatest assistance in this!!

Before you take the law into your own hands, think carefully about the bigger picture, and the results of your actions.

Alec.
Alec, with all respect, you have to remember that one of the greatest creators of an inbalance in nature is us ourselves. When we, as people, in the UK decided to decimate our Bird of Prey population, we then opened doors for other species to create havoc amongst our bird populations. I constantly hear complaining about corvids, the re-introduction of birds of prey species, how songbird species or gamebird species suffer because of the two predatory species I have mentioned. Interference in a balance of nature, which nature worked out quite well herself results in a mess.

I don't disagree with pest control, we have no other option these days, in many situations all over the world but I do think we can use more humane methods and traps like those are not one of them, especially when people can 'forget' to check them, which they do!
 

Littlelegs

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I have no issues with controlling the population by humane methods, but I don't believe it is humane.
I thought it was only illegal to interfere with a licensed legal trap? Of course, I wasn't advocating the op do anything illegal. But the lack of shelter would mean its not a legal trap? Therefore provided the trap isn't damaged there's no charges to answer. In fact, i'm sure there's a law stating that by knowingly letting something suffer you're complicit in the abuse. So it could be argued that without shelter being provided you were simply acting to prevent charges being brought against yourself.
 

Tormenta

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Can we be convinced though that the decline in songbirds can be firmly laid at the door of the corvids? There are other factors like changing farming practices resulting in loss of habitat, use of pesticides etc Yes they can be nasty birds - pecking the eyes out of lambs as they're being born is a typical corvid trick - and they need to be controlled but are they responsible for all they're blamed for?

Incidentally I have an old farmhouse cookery recipe book that has a recipe for rook pie with a nice figgy pastry if anyone's interested?:p
I believe that when we decimated bird of prey populations, we created a problem ourselves. A female Sparrowhawk will take Magpies, Jackdaws, Pigeon, young Rooks, young Crows etc. A Peregrine Falcon is capable of much larger prey even Seagulls. All Scavenger/Hunters like Buzzards will also take young Corvids (I have witnessed that myself), Goshawks which are slowly spreading are capable of taking Crows and Rooks without a problem.

Corvids have a bad reputation but only depending on what eyes you view them from ;)
 
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