The Real Price of Grouse - Traps

Gamekeepers on Grouse moors use a large array of devices to capture native wildlife - considered as predators to grouse. Farmed grouse that are reared to be shot for human pleasure! Some of these traps are legal in the UK, others have very specific references for their use. All are ‘deadly killing devices’ that inflict a long and painful death on animal wild or domestic animal they catch.


Snares are wire nooses used to trap animals. They are classed as ‘self-locking’ snares that are illegal or free running snares which are legal.

Dual Purpose Snares – Illegal

Often known as the ‘fox snare’ These snares are self-locking and therefore - illegal. Incredibly they are still sold, but only for use when they have the wire threaded through the hole on the vertical part of the strut. The use of self-locking snares is prohibited under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. However many are still in use today.

Home Made Snares

Often, very crude and extremely cruel. Homemade snares can be locking or free running. Many rabbits snares are homemade and range in severity in the injury and suffering they cause to the trapped animal.

Rabbit Snares

Are usually made from stranded brass wire fitted with nooses called 'Tealers". 'Natural tealers’  - can be any material but are usually a nylon cord - such as fishing line.

Pole Snares – Illegal

Although illegal - this can be difficult to prove. This snare is known as a ‘Kill Pole’  The aim is that the fox will get caught and then strangle itself as it gets wrapped around the metal pole in the struggle.

Spring Traps

A Gin Trap is a mechanical device designed to catch an animal by the leg using spring-operated jaws. These can have a serrated edge or teeth. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes. The use of gin traps has been illegal in the UK since 1958, however, they are still in use today, causing carnage today to wildlife and pets.

Fenn Traps - legal

Fenn Traps are the most common spring trap used by gamekeepers. Sometimes referred to as Solway Spring Trap, they come in two sizes, MK4 or MK6. Although legal, it is an offence to set any spring trap in the open. Gamekeepers have been known to place Fenn traps on a fence post to kill birds of prey.

Kania Trap 2000 - legal

The Kania Trap 2000 was designed in Canada and is intended to kill racoons. It has been approved by DEFRA for use in the UK. However, there are a number of serious issues related to the trap. One is that it is known to kill woodpeckers when attached to trees to catch squirrels.

Scissor Style Mole Trap - legal

The Scissor Style Mole Trap is one of many types of mole traps in use. Above ground, you will only see the handles sticking out of the ground. When the mole passes underneath and triggers the trap, it sends the sharp metal spikes into the unsuspecting mole.

The Hopper - legal

The Hopper or Poison hopper isn’t a trap but can easily be confused with one. It will contain poisoned bait. They make come in a range of sizes and different designs.

Cage Traps -legal

Although classed as ‘humane’ - cage traps can cause fear, discomfort, frustration, injury and stress over a period of several hours or even days. Cage-traps come in various sizes, depending on the target species. All are basically a box constructed of wire mesh with one or two open ends. The doors are triggered by a foot plate or hook from which a bait may be suspended. Often they are hidden from view behind a fence, hedgerow or over covered by brush.

 Bird Cage Traps

Larsen Trap 

A Larsen Trap uses a live corvid (Magpie, Crow or Rook) to attract other corvids. They often trap birds of prey and other species. The trapped birds are usually shot. Larsen traps are legal to use but must be inspected regularly. Often many birds will be captive and this is often a signal that the trap hasn’t been inspected and is, therefore ‘illegal’. Larsen traps are banned in their native Denmark but have been in use in the UK since 1988 when the GWCT (Game, Wildlife & Countryside Trust) first used them.

Ladder Trap

These are basically the same as the Larsen Trap but on a bigger scale. As with Larsen traps, Ladder traps are legal for use in the UK provided they are ‘attended’. When not in use, they have to be disabled and that means closed. Many are however found, left open and unattended. These are then ‘illegal’. 

Save Me Trust is calling for a complete ban on all snares and traps that are fatal in operation.