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Yorkshire Times
Voice of the North
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11:34 AM 1st April 2020

General Licences Introduced For The Humane Trapping Of Stoats

New measures to improve the welfare of trapped stoats in line with internationally agreed standards.

A stoat in a field - photo by NH53
A stoat in a field - photo by NH53
From 1 April 2020, any trapping of stoats will only be lawful under the authority of a licence issued under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, for instance to help conserve birds or livestock.

Natural England has developed two general licences to permit the trapping of stoats in specific circumstances in England. These cover the conservation of wild birds (GL38) and the prevention of serious damage to livestock (GL39).

The changes mean that any trap used for stoats must be certified to meet the welfare standards set out in the Agreement on International Humane Trapping Standards and approved for use against stoats in the UK.

The move follows a Defra-led consultation in 2018 on the implementation of these standards.

If you need a licence to use a trap in Scotland or Wales and Northern Ireland, you must contact the relevant licensing authority in that country.