Sir, Last week's revelations in The Kerryman about the horrific cruelty to birds caught in traps, presumably Larsen traps, is utterly sickening, and all the more reason for these cruel traps to be outlawed.
Ironically, the Larsen trap, developed in Denmark, is now banned in that country as it was deemed to be inhumane. The Larsen trap has been condemned by the many animal welfare experts, including the chief superintendent of the RSPCA, who stated that they were inherently cruel.
The Larsen trap uses a decoy bird, i.e. magpie, crow, jackdaws, rooks and other members of the crow family, to lure in a one of its species, and then watch as it is killed in front of it. The decoy bird, according to law, is supposed to be fed and watered, but scant regard is paid to this legal requirement in many cases. Furthermore, confined in this trap, its most vital instincts are frustrated and, close to the ground, it is terrorised by predators.
And now we learn from The Kerryman story the "unspeakable cruelty" meted out to these sentient creatures by some sick individuals in the north and east of Kerry i.e. birds left to die in cages, burned alive with blow torches or beaten to a pulp with metal bars.
The Irish Council Against Blood Sports is campaigning for the Larsen trap to be banned on the grounds that it is cruel and inhumane to confine and terrorise a bird or animal in this manner. We again call on Jimmy Deenihan, Minister for Arts & Heritage, who has responsibility for our vulnerable wildlife, to outlaw this barbaric trap. Sincerely, Aideen Yourell, Spokesperson, Irish Council Against Blood Sports, P.O. Box 88, Mullingar.