Its decline in western Europe has been attributed to a combination of persecution and agricultural intensification. It was trapped and poisoned to prevent damage to crops, and this practice continues in some parts of the hamster's range (although not in the western part of its range). In eastern Europe it continues to be trapped for the fur trade. Agricultural intensification, specifically the loss of perennial crops and small uncultivated patches of land, the introduction of autumn-sown cereals, and the increased use of pesticides, has had a negative impact on many hamster populations. Changing agricultural practices in eastern Europe, where the hamster population has traditionally been considered stable, may pose a threat in the future.