Evidence gathering

What additional training costs may be incurred by you or those you represent as a result of implementing the AIHTS requirements for manufacturers?

For any trap operator, the price for a day of GWCT training on best practice trapping/predator control is £120 + VAT = £144. There would be associated costs of travel to and from the venue (average of £30?), time lost to the employer (estimated £150/day), and subsistence (£15?). So a realistic total cost of training might be ~£345 per individual.

For the GWCT as an employer, training would be required for four current staff, amounting to a total of £1,380.

What additional costs may be incurred by you or those you represent as a result of implementing the AIHTS requirements for manufacturers, including costs incurred in relation to the alteration of designs and instructions and provision of suitable identification?

As a leading organisation delivering advice and training on game management issues, implementation of AIHTS requires the GWCT to rewrite guidance leaflets, publish advisory articles in the GWCT’s own media and website and elsewhere; and prepare and lay on training courses. This is difficult to cost, but a reasonably informed guess would be £15,000.

We might also include here the cost of engagement with the AIHTS issue hitherto, which has a history dating back well before 1997, when we first began to advise members about it. Again, it’s very difficult to cost, but as an example, the GWCT’s lead on the subject spent 127 hours on the issue in 2017, which is 17 days at £300/day = £5,000. Over 20 years, it’s likely the issue has cost the GWCT in excess of £50,000.

At our three demonstration sites (referred to as Estates A, B and C below), 100 Fenn traps will be replaced with DOC150s, 60 Fenn traps with DOC200s, 75 Fenn traps with Tully traps, and a further 50 DOC150 traps purchased to fulfil deferred requirements. In all cases tunnels must be rebuilt.

Cost of replacing traps will be 210 at £35 + 75 at £30 = £9,600 (plus shipping). The manpower cost of building (given workshop facilities) and deploying tunnels is estimated to be 1.5 hours per trap = 285 at £17/hour = £4,845. Materials 285 at £10/tunnel = £2,850. So total estimated retooling cost for these three sites = £17,295.

If it was necessary to buy tunnels ready-made at £60, and each tunnel took 30 minutes to deploy, the overall figure would be £29,123. The off-setting cost of not replacing existing Fenn traps during the next 10 years would be 235 at £9.90 = £2,327.

Which make and models of trap do you or those you represent use to trap stoat and how many do you or those you represent use?

For three game management projects under GWCT control:

  • Estate A: 59 Fenn Mk 4 + 21 DOC150. Plans to supplement these with 50 more DOC traps have been on hold pending uncertainty over AIHTS.
  • Estate B: 100 Fenn Mk4 and Fenn Mk6
  • Estate C: 75 Fenn Mk 4

Roughly how many of each permitted target species do you or those you represent catch using these traps in an average year?

We do not have comprehensive data for all GWCT members. However, the National Gamebag Census receives bag data on an annual basis from a self-selecting sample of estates throughout the UK. To illustrate annual bags, in 2012, 800 estates recorded a total of 16,000 stoats; 10,000 weasels; 35,000 brown rats; 46,000 grey squirrels (figures rounded to the nearest 1,000). We are unable to break these figures down by trap model. Indeed, not all of these animals would have been caught in traps, though it is likely that the vast majority were. We do not have any sound basis for extrapolating from these figures to the whole of the UK. Trend analysis is available up to 2010. Averaged across the whole NGC (i.e. UK-wide), the annual bag of stoats was approximately stable through 2000-2010, at a level roughly twice that in 1961. For further information, see here.

For the three game management projects under GWCT control:

  • Estate A: 10 stoat, 10 weasel, 40 rat, 20 grey squirrel
  • Estate B: 20 stoat, 35 weasel, 100 rat, 300 grey squirrel
  • Estate C: 6 stoat, 21 weasel, 22 rat

How often in years do you or those you represent replace a particular make and model of trap (how long is its working life)?

  • Estate A: currently used traps would have been replaced at six years, but have been retained for eight pending certainty on AIHTS.
  • Estate B: Traps are replaced every 10 years.
  • Estate C: Traps are replaced from five years onwards, depending on the conditions in which they have worked (dry or damp).

Roughly how many of each AIHTS species other than stoat have you or those you represent caught in the last year?

  • Estate A: None intentionally (Our fox snares have breakaways allowing badgers to self-release if caught.)
  • Estate B: None
  • Estate C: None

What trap make and models did you use?

  • Estate A: N/A
  • Estate B: N/A

What trap/tunnel setup is most important for you when trapping stoats?

  • Estate A: Fenn traps in standard run-through tunnel; DOC traps in single-entry box
  • Estate B: Standard run-through tunnel
  • Estate C: Baited single-entrance tunnel

Do you place bait or lures in the tunnel?

  • Estate A: No for Fenn traps; Yes for DOC traps in single-entry box
  • Estate B: No
  • Estate C: Yes. Meat bait in winter, scent lure in summer

Do you use baffles/restrictors to prevent non-target species entering the tunnel (outer) or to guide target species through the trap (inner)?

  • Estate A: Yes
  • Estate B: Yes
  • Estate C: Yes

How do you buy your traps?

  • Estate A: Usually internet purchase
  • Estate B: UK trap retailers
  • Estate C: UK trap retailer

How much do you estimate you have spent on traps in the last year?

  • Estate A: No spend on spring traps in the last year due to the uncertainty over AIHTS. Our usual budget is around £400/year, which must also cover the purchase of corvid traps.
  • Estate B: £100 (purchased a small number of Fenn Mark 6 traps to replace old traps)
  • Estate C: £500

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