1, Respect the mole at all times.
It is important to recognise the mole as a living mammal and to provide full consideration to its welfare whilst under the control of man in any way to reduce possible unnecessary suffering.
2, Before commencement of work make a full assessment of the area and consider the personal and /or risks to third parties or other non target species.
Risks need to be evaluated and measures taken to reduce and/or remove potential harm from any possible actions that will or maybe undertaken.
3, Consider the use of the area/s and what type of mole trap would be beneficial and achieve the results to that location.
Trap choice is a personal preference but must be appropriate to its ability to control the target mole but also correct to the location to avoid possible detection or interference from unauthorized persons.
4, Only use good quality traps that are in good working order.
There are currently no approvals for traps used for moles. This allows unsuitable devices to be utilized. If providing a business service, it would be advisable that commercially available traps are purchased from a reputable supplier. However, even suppliers will supply traps of different standards so judge your choice intelligently. The use of inappropriate traps could result in unnecessary suffering, possible prosecution, and/or failure to complete the task.
5, When using traps never leave them exposed, care should be taken to cover to avoid accidentally injuring non target species or third parties and reduce tampering.
As a working practice, it will be obvious to prevent tampering of traps for safety requirements, but some traps from their designs may be visible when in use. |always try to disguise the presence of any trap that has been placed.
6, Traps must be inspected once a day, however where risk assessment identifies, some multiple visits maybe required.
Many will fail to inspect a placed trap under many guises such as it is not a legal requirement. Every animal is a protected species once it enters into any trap, it upon capture becomes protected under the Animal Welfare Act, and prior to that capture, no offence will have been committed. However, if upon inspection any level of suffering has been caused then that is an offence. It will be down to the courts to decide what measures could or should have been taken, to reduce or remove that suffering.
Many trap operators will claim failure to inspect placed traps under frail excuses such as; they had other work commitments or the traps will kill the mole so there is no need to inspect, even claim that they check regularly, which can be once every few days or once per week providing it is regular.
Professional suppliers will have work schedules and those controlling moles are no different to other trades. The acceptance to undertake the control of a mole by trap use will require a visit to place that trap, so it will be necessary that another visit will be required the next day to inspect it. Therefore, this return visit will be scheduled into the next working day. It clearly identifies that to inspect a trap once a day is a workable practice, as many trades are required to make obligatory visits to clients in undertaking work agreements until the completion of the task. Trap use involves the termination of a life and indisputably necessitates an assurance to provide a minimum level of welfare and that can only be achieved with a minimum once a day inspection. There will always be possible suffering and it cannot be denied that even with once a day inspections suffering will be reduced, but there must be a minimum requirement. Multiple visits will reduce levels of possible suffering further, as operators will be able to deal with any mole found to be in distress sooner.
As there is, no approval for mole traps there will undoubtedly be moles caught unintentionally alive in a trap designed to kill its target mole. Any mole caught unintentionally alive in a kill trap is considered as an offence, as unnecessary suffering has occurred. The operation of any trap placed for a mole can be influenced by circumstances such as unintentional tampering or from the incorrect placement resulting in the restraint of a live mole. Many people claim to never have witnessed a live mole in a trap, often this is from the time from that placement to inspection, and the mole may have expired from stress, dehydration, or starvation. There are no excuses to ignore the welfare for animals whilst under the control of man and moles are no exception. The traps used are employed in a harsh environment that is out of sight and this places further obligation to inspect them once a day.
The person responsible for the placement of the trap is also the person responsible for the inspection, if an inspection to a trap reveals that the target mole remains alive it must be despatched immediately. If a third party inspects a trap that contains a live mole and it is required that the person responsible for its placement is then requested to attend, an offence under the Animal Welfare Act is committed as unnecessary suffering occurs until the mole has been despatched. This practice clearly contravenes the regulations already in force in the UK and with many persons quick to promote reason not to inspect traps, identifies a lack of professionalism, compassion, and capability to the undertaking.
7, Always record the quantity of traps used at a location.
You must record the amount of traps placed at a location to ensure they are all inspected and removed upon completion of the task. This will reduce the possibility of failure to retrieve all traps that if left in situ could be a hazard to other non-target species or third parties.
8, Always remove all traps from a location if inspection is no longer to be made.
It is not permitted to leave traps in position if they are not required, as they could become a hazard. It is not permitted to leave traps set if no inspection is to be made as this is an admission to the intent to possible unnecessary suffering.