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Fenn Traps

These have just been delivered.

There's 3 Mk 4 Fenns and a Mk 6. Believe it or not, they were all delivered in the set position.      With the safety catches on, I suppose for ease of packing. They will be buried in soil for a week now to get the newness smell off them.

With the ones that I have already, that'll mean that I have five set permanatly around the farm and two in the main barn.

We set ours in a tunnel just big enough for the trap to sit in nicely and yet spring ok.
On one that was not chained down properly a fox/badger took the squirrel/rat and the trap - lost forever.

That was bad luck, I know a keeper who accidentally caught and held a fox in a mark 4.  I find it hard to believe but he isn't a fibber. My traps are always well pegged down and are in tunnels that prevent any stray badgers or foxes getting into threm. The chances are that you'd already caught something in the trap that attracted the unwanted attention or it was a two legged thief.

Good luck with the trapping mate
matt the rat

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but those are NOT Fenn traps!

They are cheap far eastern copies of the real deal, and as such, are not approved for use in the UK (under the Spring Trap Approval Order).

The fact that they are not approved for use in the UK means that setting them is an offence.  Unfortunately, the sale of unapproved traps is still legal.  Send them back and demand a refund as soon as you've reported the seller to Trading Standards.

JohnB from Fourteenacre sells the real thing, direct from Mssrs Fenn & Co.

Just out of curiosity how would the average person know they are not Fenn traps - they look remarkably like the ones I have seen and once tarnished who would know ?

Here's the advert.

I thought that fenn trap was a type of trap and not just a make.
matt the rat

Good question.

The chains are a dead giveaway, but also, the genuine ones are stamped A FENN.

Also the quality of Fenns is much better.

Not only are they a waste of money (they'll fall apart in no time), they are also potentially inhumane (the springs are usually poor) and illegal to use.  Name and shame the seller so that no-one else buys the crap.

Here is a link to John's shop.  You can see pictures of the real thing there.
matt the rat

bodger wrote:
Here's the advert.

I thought that fenn trap was a type of trap and not just a make.


Only Mssrs A Fenn make Fenn traps.  There are also a couple of other makes of the same design which are approved, namely SPRINGER, and more recently SOLWAY.  All are of a similar price, but the genuine Fenns (now made by the son of the inventor) are the first choice for professional trappers as the quality is excellent.

I suppose it's 'Hoover' syndrome, but not all fenns are Fenns.

Bin em.
matt the rat

Ah.  Atlantic rubbish.  I've spoken to that chap a few times, and reported him to trading standards.  He's a serial offender of selling things that aren't what he says they are.

The problem is that he is allowed to sell them, but you are not allowed to use them.

He shouldn't call them 'Fenns' though.  Hopefully John will pass the info onto Mssrs Fenn and they can take action.

Matt has made it pretty clear that I have an interest here which saves me having to repeat it.

The legal position is typically woolly as I understand it.  

The Spring Trap Approval Order was rewritten in 1995 (LINK) and included the FENN and other traps.  There have been several amendments since then which are additions to the order, the 2007 one adding the SOLWAY brand. (LINK).

This much is clear and unequivocal.

The trouble is that on the first page of the order it says:
(2)  The approvals given by paragraph (1) of this article relating to any spring trap specified in any entry in column (1) of the Schedule, and to any spring trap equivalent in all relevant respects to a spring trap so specified are subject to the conditions as to the animals for which and the circumstances in which the spring trap may be used specified in the corresponding entry in column (2) of the Schedule.

Now to my mind a cheaper copy without necessarily the same spring power, or tolerence of jaw closing or whatever else is not 'equivalent in all respects' but I don't think there's a case law definition of what that means.

That aside if you already have a 'real one' to compare it to i think you'll soon notice the difference.  This is a picture of one I had before I knew any better - the arm broke on the second time it fired.


I simply went by the advert, which as you can see definately states they are Fenns. That they aren't Fenns because they aren't stamped Fenn, obviously means that I've been conned. The only stamp that they have on them is MK4 and MK6 respectively.

Bodger mate, ask for a full refund and report the seller to ebay. There are a list of reporting options which include counterfeit and breach of copyright or trademark.

You have to report the item on the item for sale page. But make sure you get a full refund first! Remember if you paid by paypal you are also protected.

Good luck


Do I enter into what maybe a complicated piece of legal hassle for items that cost me less than thirty quid ? Or do I bite the bullet and simply use them to catch rats ?
The advert is there for all to see, if someone else wants to take this matter further, then I'm quite happy to be a witness and provide corroborative evidence.
matt the rat

I've already reported the seller (again).

My advice is to return the traps and ask for a full refund.  The consumer protection act is there to protect you without the need for protracted legal proceedings.

Get your money back on the grounds that the goods are not 'as advertised', and then buy some decent ones.
matt the rat

Update for you all:

After reporting the goods as counterfeit, and asking Mr Underwood some awkward questions, the traps have been removed from e-bay.

Unfortunately, he has now re-listed them as 'Fen' traps, which means that more innocent people may buy them thinking that they are the real thing.

Mr Underwood is requesting my name and address so that he can reply to me in writing, but I've asked him to keep all communication on ebay for now, so that they can take action if needs be.

I hope you have received a full refund Bodger, as the Sale of Goods Act prevents this type of sale.  If you haven't, refer the case to Trading Standards.

If I hear anymore, I'll let you know.

I like those cheapo chinky traps. I hang them up in my store room. Then, on a still night, I pour myself a pint and just sit by the door. Listening to them gently falling apart!  

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