We note that the model of live trap for which humaneness data have been gathered for stoats is too large to fit into existing tunnel infrastructure, and there is no other live trap approved for stoat under AIHTS in another country.
None of the other live-capture traps commonly used for rodent control have been verified as AIHTS-compliant for stoats under AIHTS, so it cannot confidently be assumed that their use will avoid a S.11 offence after stoat becomes a scheduled species. Although it is tempting to assume that similar traps (i.e. clones) will be similarly humane, in our experience as biologists it is the details of construction (e.g. door mechanism, welds or fastenings, mesh size) that can lead to injuries (e.g. tooth breakages, lacerations) in live-caught animals. The development of live-traps for badgers – where mesh size was critical – illustrates this well. Doubt over this assumption would, for instance, affect use of the Legg multi-catch squirrel trap, popular in grey squirrel control. Depending on Defra’s answer to the clarification requested in Q1, this may or may not be an issue.
For AIHTS species other than stoat, we are happy with the approach proposed for live-catch traps.