1. Fenn kill traps, are designed to legally control rats, weasels, grey squirrels and rabbits. They are designed to be set in ‘runs’ , burrow entrances (Rabbits Mk6 Fenn) and tunnels.
2. To set a Fenn trap, use your thumbs to open the jaws and engage the safety hook.
3. As shown in the photo above, place your thumb in the loop (A) and fingers under the base (B). With your right thumb also on bar (C) and fingers under the spring (D), squeeze with both hands to fully open the jaws and swing the safety hook (E) over bar (C) and then place trigger (F) into the notch (G) on the pressure plate.
4. With the safety in place, both hands are free to adjust the trap. TAKE CARE NOT TO DISENGAGE THE SAFETY HOOK (E).
5. Dig a hole large enough to place the trap in so that the top of the trap is flush with the ground level (bottom photo).
6. When setting is complete disengage the safety hook (E).
7. Place the tunnel cover over the trap.
8. Dragging grain/bait/lure between trap sites will encourage rats and squirrels, etc , two or three pieces of bait near the trap can increase the likelyhood of success. The use of gloves when handling the trap and lures will minimise the risk of you leaving a scent that will make the animal suspicious, and prevent you touching the fenn trap after the likes of rats and other vermin have been in contact with the trap.
9. Leave the Fenn trap set all the time.
10. The Fenn trap is designed to break the animals spine and kill immediately, they should always be used within a purpose designed tunnel, natural or artificial or placed well back within the mouth of a burrow.
Are Fenn traps going to be made illegal?
Fenn traps were made illegal to catch stoats from 1 April 2020, because tests have shown that they fail to kill stoats reliably within the time-frame required by AIHTS (45 seconds).
It remains legal to use them to catch other target species for which they are currently approved (e.g. weasels, rats, grey squirrels), even though they have not undergone humaneness testing for those species (because of cost constraints). But the AIHTS does not apply to those other species, and Defra is implementing AIHTS by means of the least possible change.
Note that the traps must be set in a tunnel ‘suitable for the purpose’, which means species like stoat, for which the trap is not approved, must not be put at risk. We think this will be difficult to achieve in many circumstances where the use of these traps would otherwise be lawful; we therefore encourage trappers to assess the risk and embrace change.