DEFRA has recently approved the use of the A24 trap in England (pending in Wales and Scotland) and BHPS are very concerned about it.
The traps (see http://www.goodnature.co.nz/products/rat-stoat/) are sold to kill hedgehogs (amongst other species), in New Zealand where hedgehogs are a non-native and considered a ‘pest’ species.
Following DEFRA approval, the traps can now be used in the UK.
Here, hedgehogs are a protected species through being listed on Schedule 6 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act. Explicitly they may not be trapped without a licence. This means that if a trap is set, albeit intended for something else, and it catches a hedgehog, then the person who set the trap can be prosecuted. Anyone setting traps for ‘vermin’ or non-protected species is obliged to take all reasonable precautions to avoid catching a protected species, since there are no ‘reasonable precautions’ to avoid catching hedgehogs using this trap, anyone who sets them is at risk of prosecution if they catch a hedgehog. It is no defence in law to say that the catch was unintentional. We call on DEFRA to withdraw approval of the use of these traps immediately so that they are not able to impact upon our already dwindling hedgehog population.
What can you do?
If you would like to make your voice heard, alongside ours, please contact the minister responsible directly by post: Dr Thérèse Coffey, Nobel House, 17 Smith Square, London, SW1P 3JR or by email firstname.lastname@example.org. As well as this, try contacting your local MP (even if you doubt their support).
URGENT UPDATE ON PETITION
Our petition against DEFRA’s UK approval of the A24 trap (used in New Zealand to kill hedgehogs) is being closed early (3rd May 2017)!
We are so disappointed to have just received a message from the Government Petitions Committee to say that our petition, that has attracted almost 30,000 signatures in 6 weeks and was due to close in September, is being closed on 3rd May because Parliament is being dissolved! We will be able to start a new petition when new government is in place BUT SIGNATURES CANNOT BE ROLLED OVER! We must start again!
We will of course set a new one up (if trap is still being used in UK) but in the meantime PLEASE talk to your current (and new MP’s) and discuss with canvassers when they visit you in the election campaigns.
Here is the message we received:
Because of the General Election, the closing date for your petition has changed. All petitions now have to close at 00:01am on 3 May. This is because Parliament will be dissolved and all parliamentary business – including petitions – must stop until after the election. This means the petitions site will be closed and people will not be able to start or sign petitions.
We’re sorry we weren’t able to give you more notice that this would happen.
Your petition will be available for people to read on the site even though it will be closed for signatures. Your petition can’t be reopened after the election. You are very welcome to start your petition again when the site reopens after the election, but you will need to collect new signatures. We can’t transfer signatures to your new petition.
The Government can’t respond to petitions during the election period. This means if your petition has over 10,000 signatures, it can’t receive a response from the current Government after 2 May. After the election, the new Government will have to decide whether it wants to respond to petitions from before the election.
The Petitions Committee, the group of MPs who decide whether petitions are debated, won’t exist after 3 May. This means that if your petition has over 100,000 signatures, it can’t be scheduled for debate. After the election, there will be a new Petitions Committee, and they will be responsible for deciding which petitions are debated.
The petitions site will open again after the election, but at the moment we don’t know exactly when. You can follow us on Twitter @HoCPetitions for updates, or check back on the petitions site for news if you prefer.
We had gathered almost 30,000 signatures in 6-8 weeks
– these apparently cannot be rolled over to new petition so we will need you all to sign again when new petition is active.
The links below have temporarily been disabled until the petition becomes active again
Download handouts (4 black and white ‘reminder’ handouts on an A4 sheet) to ask people to sign petition HERE