Fenn traps and implementation of the Agreement on International Humane Trapping Standards (AIHTS)

The only species trapped in the UK using a Fenn trap, covered by the agreement, is the stoat. Fenn traps do not meet AIHTS standards for stoat. Defra have been working with trap testing facilities to identify a suitable alternative spring trap design which meets AIHTS standards, but have so far failed to do so.

As a result of this, Ministers have agreed, pending a final decision following public consultation later this year, to delay implementing the standards for stoat for two years (until July 2018) so further research can be carried out to identify a suitable alternative design.

All traps, including Fenn Traps, currently allowed by law for the purpose of trapping stoats in England, will therefore continue to be available for that purpose until the AIHTS standards are applied to stoat traps in 2018.

When the Agreement is implemented for stoats in 2018, they will no longer be a permitted target species for Fenn traps, but implementation will not prevent the use of Fenn traps against the other species they are approved for (e.g. weasels, rats, rabbits etc.).

However, once the agreement is implemented for stoat, trap users, who set traps for permitted target species in locations where a stoat may also be caught may, depending on the risk of catching a stoat, have to use AIHTS-compliant traps. This consideration will be part of the risk assessment that trap users already take when assessing the risk of capturing non-target species.