Are ‘hogs any less at risk from this rat trap than a bait box?
17th August 2021 at 4:17 pm #33081
Rats have appeared in my garden, from where I do not know. Thinking to put out a bait box, I found that ‘hogs, especially young ones are at risk from the poison, as are predators that eat the dead rats. Then I found the “A24” device, that uses the energy in a CO2 cylinder to set, fire and reset a rat trap. Ideal, I thought!
But then I read that ‘hogs have been injured by them, and that they are used in New Zealand (where European hedgehogs are an invasive pest! ) to against ‘hogs
Apart from New Zealand, where it’s necessary, anyone any experience of using these? Are they a danger to Hedgehogs?
JOhn17th August 2021 at 10:57 pm #33085
I’ve no experience of the trap you describe, but if they are used to kill hedgehogs I imagine they are extremely dangerous to hedgehogs.
Are you sure that the rats haven’t been there all along, and you’ve simply not seen them before? Rats are pretty ubiquitous in this country, and likely to be in gardens everywhere. There have been other chats on this forum about how to stop rats eating food set out for hedgehogs, and such a thing seems extremely difficult if not impossible. I’d be very wary of using any sort of poison or trap, as they would also kill hedgehogs, as well as the poisoned rats also poisoning predators and scavengers, including hedgehogs, who will eat carrion. I’m not sure that there is any form of trap you can use to kill rats that is not also dangerous to hedgehogs.18th August 2021 at 1:01 pm #33087
The A24 trap, as I understand it, was originally designed to kill hedgehogs in New Zealand. The BHPS had a petition to ban the use of it in the UK a few years ago. As I recall, the numbers of signatures were not reached – a General Election intervened.
This is a post from the time of that petition which contains more information:
This is from the Legal Section from BHPS
Legal Hedgehogs are protected, in England, Scotland and Wales, under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, Schedule 6 and in Northern Ireland under the Wildlife (NI) Order 1985, Schedules 6&7. What this means is they are
“protected from being killed or taken by certain methods under Section 11(1) of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. The methods listed are: self-locking snares, bows, crossbows, explosives (other than ammunition for a firearm), or live decoys. The species listed are also protected from the following activities: trap, snare or net, electrical device for killing or stunning, poisonous, poisoned or stupefying substances or any other gas or smoke, automatic or semi-automatic weapon, device for illuminating a target or sighting device for night shooting, artificial light, mirror or other dazzling device, sound recording, and mechanically propelled vehicle in immediate pursuit.”31st August 2021 at 10:38 am #33483
Use a humane rat trap that just catches the rat in a cage, then if you catch a rat you can take it out to the countryside and release it. But if you catch a Hedgehog you can release it safe and sound. My brother has used these for a number of years and has caught quite a few rats, and the odd Hedgehog which have been released with no harm done1st September 2021 at 2:03 pm #33512
Thanks for posting with this information, I find that useful and reassuring.
Rats will always be a problem if you keep horses or chickens – or put out food for wild creatures in general, but good to know how your brother manages without harm to hedgehogs.
.2nd September 2021 at 9:46 pm #33689
If you were going to use a ‘humane’ trap you would need to make very regular checks. It would be distressing for a hog (or a rat for that matter) to be trapped in one for any length of time. It is actually illegal to trap hedgehogs, so steps should always be taken to ensure that even a ‘humane’ trap is placed where a hog could not access it. But regular checks should still be made, just in case, because hogs are able to get into places which we may not expect.
It is also debatable about whether it is actually legal to release a rat ‘out in the countryside’.
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