latest news bans ads for cruel Larsen traps

Classified ads company,, has been thanked by ICABS for adding cruel Larsen traps to the list of items forbidden on its website.

The compassionate move came following an ICABS appeal in which we outlined how crows and magpies suffer a terrible fate in the traps.

Designed in Denmark in the 1950s, Larsen traps are now banned there as they are considered so inhumane. They use a permanently trapped bird to lure in other birds. They fly down on to the trap, fall through a collapsing platform and find themselves trapped too.

Overcome with the fear and stress of confinement, the creatures desperately jump against the bars of the cage in a futile attempt to escape. Some will suffer broken beaks and cut heads before being grabbed and strangled to death.

In our appeal to, we highlighted that some birds die of starvation or thirst when traps are abandoned. We quoted a National Parks and Wildlife Service conservation ranger who reported that he "found many larsen traps with dead decoy birds which appeared to have died from starvation."

When magpie parents are caught in Larsen traps, their orphaned chicks will starve to death in nests.

The traps are also used to cruelly catch other creatures such as foxes.

Find out more about our Ban cruel Larsen traps campaign and get involved today.

In a statement posted on, an representative stated: "...we have never allowed animals to be traded on the site and this extends to fur products, taxidermy products and recently the larsen traps. We amend our list of forbidden items all the time and it is an ongoing process and this is simply an extension to an existing policy that has been in place for years. We make calls based on the direction WE want adverts to be taking and there is no agenda with the hunting fraternity or any other group with an interest in this. We get contacted by many many groups on adverts but our main interest is that of our members and in the case of the larsen traps, a lot of our members pointed out they weren't in line with our existing policy on animals on the site. As this was the first time these items appeared on the site, we decided to clarify the issue by adding them to our banned items list."

About Launched in 2006 by, Ireland's largest community website, is a community based marketplace where individuals can buy or sell items online. It has facilitated the sale or purchase of thousands of items across every type of category imaginable.

A doomed crow in a Larsen trap. Please join our campaign to secure a ban on these cruel traps. (Photo: Against Corvid Traps)

Video: Magpie caught in cruel Larsen trap


Please join us in calling on the Minister for Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht Affairs to urgently introduce a ban on Larsen traps.

Minister for Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht Affairs
Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht
23 Kildare Street
Dublin 2

[with a copy to - An Taoiseach]
Tel: (01) 631 3802
Fax: (01) 661 1201

Quotes: Larsen trap cruelty

"Phil Wilson, chief superintendent of the RSPCA's prosecution department, said: 'It is the RSPCA's view that these [Larsen] traps are inherently cruel.' He added: 'There is no evidence that magpies have a significant effect on the songbird population.'" (From Larsen trapper convicted of cruelty to magpie)

"I consider the Larsen trap to be rather inhumane. I know in Denmark where the trap was developed it is banned for this reason but it is legal in the UK. I have been watching a magpie in a trap (food and water provided) for 4 days now and it appears distressed with a lot of repetitive actions." (Comment posted on a UK bird club forum)

"The wild 'decoy bird' its most vital instincts frustrated and abused by confinement, suffers a most terrible fate. Close to the ground it is terrorised by predators, and watches as its fellow birds are brutally killed in front of it. A number end up being found dead through neglect...It is also clear that the trapping is going on all through the summer months and that untold thousands of magpie chicks have starved to death in their nests due to their parents birds being trapped. " (From the website of Against Corvid Traps)

"I have found many larsen traps with dead decoy birds which appeared to have died from starvation." (From a National Parks and Wildlife Service conservation ranger)

"Magpies are incredibly intelligent and beautiful birds. Have you ever seen a live magpie used in a Larsen Trap. It was one of the most horrible things I have ever seen. This intelligent bird was totally demented (I let it out)." (From online discussion about Larsen traps)

"A story told by the naturalist WH Hudson more than 100 years ago has always intrigued me. A man who kept a magpie in a hutch - perhaps a precursor of the Larsen trap - observed that some small birds who daringly snatched crumbs through the bars were inevitably lunged at by the pied prisoner. All but one: a robin that appeared to have a damaged beak. For this tiny bird the magpie was seen to break up crusts and feed it!" (From Country Matters, Irish Independent, April 24 2005)

"Larsen traps [are] the most disgusting method of persecution. The Larsen trap comprises a cage with two compartments, each with a spring door. One compartment holds the terrified decoy bird; the second has its door held open by a split perch. In order to enter the trap, a magpie will invariably drop onto the perch out of curiosity, this will then give way, and the door springs shut, leaving the trapped magpie to its fate and the decoy magpie to be used over and over until it dies of stress and even starvation in some cases." [From In Defence of Magpies - a leaflet published by Bedfordshire Wildlife Rescue -]

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