The use of Fenn Traps may be halted by July 2016 as the UK prepares to implement the Agreement on International Humane Trapping Standards (AIHTS). Scottish Land & Estates took part in discussions led by DEFRA earlier this week where it became apparent that, despite calls from countryside organisations for more time to consider the options, the UK’s Governments were likely to insist on implementing the AIHTS by the deadline of July ’16.
Failure to implement AIHTS by next July puts member states in line for fines from Europe, something UK governments appear not to be keen to risk by delaying any further. International Humane Trapping Standards were agreed as far back as 2008 and it seems DEFRA and others have been slow to react to their requirements. As a result we are faced with a timescale to make the necessarily changes and remain compliant that many in the industry feel is unrealistic. Scottish Land & Estates, along with BASC and the Scottish Gamekeepers Association wrote to Dr Aileen McLeod MSP, (Minister for Environment) earlier this year to ask for a derogation on Fenn Traps and requested a meeting with her to discuss the issues from a Scottish perspective. As wildlife management is devolved to the Scottish Government, Scotland will need to implement the agreement separately from England, albeit a similar approach is likely to be taken. We will continue to push for a meeting with Scottish Government as soon as possible.