We call on the National Assembly for Wales to urge the Welsh Government to BAN the USE, Sale & Manufacture of LARSEN TRAPS (Multi Corvid Traps).
The Larsen trap is a cage bird trap where a live wild decoy bird, (call-bird), is kept trapped inside one compartment to encourage another bird to come down to it. When another visiting bird lands on top s/he falls through a one way gate or false floor into a compartment, where s/he awaits their fate.
Larsen traps were invented in Denmark but are now BANNED in that country, as they are now considered inhumane and extremely cruel.
Larsen traps are mostly used by gamekeepers & smallholders to trap magpies, crows & other corvids. The bird suffers a terrifying ordeal by being trapped day and night without food, water or any shelter from the elements, which causes extreme distress.
Because they use a captive wild bird (technically contrary to the 1981 Wildlife and Countryside Act) these traps have to be used under the terms of a “General Licence” issued by Natural Resources Wales, where magpies, crows, jays, jackdaws and rooks can be trapped.
The wild “decoy call-birds,” with their most vital instincts frustrated & abused by confinement, suffers a most terrible fate. Close to the ground they are terrorised by predators and watch as fellow birds are brutally killed in front of them. A number end up being found dead through neglect.
Legally, the trapped decoy call-bird should have food, water, shelter & a perch & the 'trap' inspected at least every 24hrs, but, this is not the case. We have witnessed crows left to die without food & water and found dead rotting corpses of the previous decoy call-birds, who are permanently wired inside until they die of starvation or stress.
We have witnessed birds with broken beaks and cut heads where they have tried to escape. We have witnessed brutality, mutilation & maiming where the gamekeeper has cut wing flight feathers to stop the decoy bird from escaping.
The trapping continues throughout the summer months, consequently thousands of chicks starve to death in their nests due to their parent birds being trapped.
Larsen traps are indiscriminate and can trap non target birds or mammals. Although illegal, Pigeons are sometimes used to attract birds of prey who are also then killed.
Trapping wild birds in live bird traps & the use of live decoy call-birds causes untold stress to the unfortunate birds.
We urge that this persecution of wildlife be stopped.