It is encouraging to see Warwickshire Police recognising the importance of well-maintained, legal control of predators such as magpies and crows (Magpie cull trap causes furious debate). Larsen traps were introduced in the UK in the late 1980s in order to provide a humane solution to the impact of such birds on livestock, crops and many waders and songbirds. They are now used on nature reserves across the country and, as your article states, by organisations such as the RSPB.
When used correctly, these traps are fully lawful and tampering with them is not only unlawful but likely to do more harm to the birds they are there to protect. Research shows only 1% of birds captured are different from those targeted and these are released alive and unharmed. We should support those undertaking conservation work to protect a balance of species in the local area, often on private land, rather than undermining them.
Press & Publications Manager
Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust