The NGO has submitted a robust response to Defra’s consultation on proposals to implement the Agreement on International Humane Trapping Standards that was launched on 19 March 2018.

The National Gamekeepers’ Organisation (NGO) has submitted a robust response to Defra’s consultation on proposals to implement the Agreement on International Humane Trapping Standards that was launched on 19th March 2018. (To see an overview of the Defra consultation document, please click here.)

In response to the consultation the NGO agrees that the overall objectives of the Agreement on International Humane Trapping Standards (AIHTS) are laudable. It also supports all practical moves in the direction of greater humaneness in trapping. However, the NGO believes that the proposed timetable for UK-wide implementation (by 1 January 2019) is unworkably short and could result in chaos.

Given the short timescale, the NGO’s view is that there is still no like-for like replacement for the Fenn trap and others, which the proposals would render illegal for stoats.

According to the NGO, the very few alternative traps which have passed AIHTS’s testing so far are not capable of being used in the hundreds of thousands of existing trap tunnels built by gamekeepers in the countryside over many generations. None of them is available in anything like the quantities necessary, nor is there any prospect of them becoming available before the proposed deadline.

A spokesman for the National Gamekeepers’ Organisation said, “The NGO has been involved in the process from the start to help Government come to the right decision. The NGO has contributed both its technical expertise as well as hard cash in helping to test a new generation of stoat traps.

“However, If the proposals go ahead unaltered, we will arrive on 1 January next year without sufficient practical alternative traps in place and only two possible outcomes. Either most trapping will have to stop, which would be disastrous in terms of the rural economy and seriously damaging to conservation, both of which the Government is pledged to support. Or, there would be continued use of non-compliant traps, very probably leading to widespread prosecutions of well-meaning individuals who had been left with no legitimate way to continue their livelihoods. Neither scenario is remotely acceptable.”

As a result, the NGO has recommended in its response that the final implementation date of 1st January 2019 should be the start of a three-year transition period during which existing traps would still be permitted whilst development of new traps is completed and their production geared up and their adoption phased in.

The full NGO response to the Government’s proposals for implementing AIHTS in the UK can be viewed on the NGO’s website at NGO Response to AIHTS Consultation April 2018.pdf



For more information on the press release, please contact: Morag Walker on 07736 124097 or email:


Notes to editors:

The National Gamekeepers’ Organisation (NG)) represents the gamekeepers of England and Wales. The NGO defends and promotes gamekeeping and gamekeepers and works to ensure high standards throughout the profession. The National Gamekeepers’ Organisation was founded in 1997 by a group of gamekeepers who felt that keepering was threatened by public misunderstanding and poor representation. Today, there are 13,000 members of the National Gamekeepers’ Organisation.



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