Concerns have been raised with police after traps used by gamekeepers have been interfered with, damaged or taken on land between Matlock, Chesterfield and Bakewell.
The traps used are not just to protect game birds but to help any ground nesting birds. There is a varied range of birds in the area and the keepers are working with local bird watchers, raptor groups and other agencies to help with conservation issues through careful management and use of the land.
The traps are legal and are set in specific ways to target certain animals. Frequent checks are made and guidelines are adhered to.
PC Ian Cooper, from Ashbourne Safer Neighbourhood Team, said: “Some traps have been interfered with and then left in a position that could have harmed animals, not just the targeted pest. When set correctly they present no risk to anything other than the targeted animal.
“People who interfere, damage or take these traps are running a risk of injuring themselves or others. Police strongly encourage people to leave any traps they come across alone.
“If you have any cause for concern over traps contact Derbyshire police using the non-emergency number 101.”