Photo: a Scottish gamekeeper’s illegal gin trap

Thanks to the contributor who sent in this photo and the following information:

Given the appalling news story about a golden eagle found with injuries from a leg-hold trap…here’s my photo of a freshly used gin trap and stake seized by the police and RSPB from a keeper in 2003. One of a bagful.

To my certain knowledge these traps, outlawed finally in Scotland in 1974 (20 years after England…seems it was ok to torture foxes legally up to that point), have been used (and are probably still being used) under a bait to trap golden eagles, wild cats and foxes..

The most likely trap to have been involved in the recent golden eagle case. Eagles are strong enough to rip one of these up and fly or hobble away…if stake isn’t well tied down. They can snap bailer twine (the usual attachment for Fenn/Springer pole traps) like it was thread”.

5 thoughts on “Photo: a Scottish gamekeeper’s illegal gin trap”

  1. Utterly appalling to think that these barbaric instruments of horrendous torture, were ever considered humane!
    Bear in mind too, that throughout Ireland today, thousands of Snares are being set legally each day, to catch Badgers, in their Cull!
    As far as I’m concerned, there is absolutely NO excuse for any of us to be inflicting such utter misery & excruciatingly painful death on any of our fellow creatures!
    C21st my ar$e … we’re not there yet, not until we stop the morons hanging on to their ignorant C18th values!

  2. With the size of a golden eagle does no one else consider the chance of both of its legs ending up in a gin or a fenn trap at the same time is highly unlikely!? After all the overall spread of the jaws of these traps in no more than 4 inches?

    1. Gin traps come in all sizes from Kingfisher traps 2″ across the jaws, right up to Eagle traps 8″ across the jaws giving a total set area of some 50 square inches (bucket size).

      A gin trap is the generic name for a spring loaded straight jaw trap for animal foot / leg trapping or the curved jaw pole trap for birds.

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