Water, food & shelter.
- These are supposed to be the criteria met for the health and welfare, both "morally" and physically, for the call-bird (the bird trapped in one half of the cage in order to draw other corvids to the other side of the cage hoping to attack it) The second bird gets trapped inside and unable to get out owing to an inward-swinging sprung hinge-lid mechanism.
As a result of the trapper providing these three things, and inspecting the trap "at least daily" the Larsen Trap is legal.
It is used as pest-control in our countryside, to trap Crows, Magpies and other Corvids.
This sounds fair enough.....but it is not the way it works.
- Instead, this is what happens:
The imprisoned bird -the "call bird" (usually a Magpie, Crow or other Corvid) in a frenzy of panic, continues to try to escape. It pecks and pokes its beak and face against the wires of the cage, continually, for hours on end. It is far too panicked and afraid to take even the slightest notice of food and water, and as a result gets dehydrated as well. This CAN go on for 8 hours or more, as many traps are set up early in the morning and inspected at dusk.
However, very often it doesn't. The trapped bird often collapses, exhausted and bloody from beating itself continually against the wire, and many die a terrified horrible death.
These birds are also highly intelligent. So, one can imagine the extent of emotional torture these creatures endure as well as physical torture.
If ever anyone sees photographs of Larsen Traps in use (on pro-Larsen Trap websites) they will see a calm, happy image of a Magpie drinking from a specially designed drinking-bottle. Believe it-this is NOT a true picture! In my own experience I have only ever seen highly-panicked, bloody or broken birds.
- Larsen Traps are widely used both in Britain and Ireland, though in the country where they were first developed, they have been banned as inhumane. They are used mainly by gamekeepers, farmers, and landowners, though some gardeners and smallholders use them, in the erroneous belief they are "protecting the song-bird population".
- (No mention here of threat to the song bird population from Buzzards and cats. Or, as a result of high pesticide usage in our countryside, and in most commercial orchards, to the diminished or DNA-damaged insect life these song birds depend on for food.)
Corvids (Crows, Jays, Ravens, Magpies, Rooks, Jackdaws etc) seem to get the highest portion of the blame!
- In my own personal estimation, for a long day's work of shocking cruelty, one cage with two broken magpies -or even three cages of bloodied crows -is not going to make much impact on the threat to the song bird population!
- "Culling" any over-population of predatory species in our countryside may at times be necessary. I admit that. But pest-control by shotgun is far preferable to slow torture ending with eventual death anyway -in a Larsen Trap.
If you feel strongly about this too, and believe these inhumane traps should be outlawed, please do sign the ACT (Against Corvid Traps) petition (to be presented to DEFRA and HOUSE OF COMMONS) to ban the use of Larsen Traps