Orkney police are investigating a number of incidents in which stoat traps have been sabotaged. They were destroyed or stolen ostensibly because they have been killing pets. Orkney Native Wildlife Project which is behind the £6 million cull of stoats – because stoats pose an existential threat to Orkney’s native wildlife – said that they would do all they can to protect domestic animals. However, they confirmed that they cannot guarantee that their traps will not harm a domestic animal such as a roaming domestic cat.
The traps were placed at numerous locations throughout Orkney including Stromness, South Ronaldsay, Deerness and Evie during 2020.
Comment: this is the sort of problem that I have personally encountered. My neighbour, two houses down, whose name is Janet, wanted to get rid of rats in her backyard. Rather than trapping the rats and then humanely killing them she put poison down without discussing the matter with her neighbours and then told her neighbours to stop feeding wildlife. It was dictatorial, unilateral behaviour which I thoroughly objected to. Her behaviour jeopardised the life of my cat. She should have discussed the strategy with her neighbours first.
There is a way to protect domestic animals when killing wildlife. Personally I would not try and kill wildlife to protect native species as the Orkney Native Wildlife Project are doing. It’s an overemphasis on native species in my opinion. But no doubt, nobody agrees with me. If you can’t solve the problem in any other way than killing stoats then please find a way to kill them humanely without, at the same time, killing someone’s beloved companion animal or jeopardising their lives.