Govt responds to snares petition

“The Government recognises that some people consider snares to be an inhumane and unnecessary means of trapping wild animals and will launch a call for evidence on the use of snares.”

 

Both we and guests have written about snares many times on this site (see – Hunt Investigation Team #SnareAware) and our opinion can be summed up fairly succinctly – get rid of them: they’re a weapon of the shooting industry, cruel, misused, and indiscriminate. The Codes of Practice governing snare use are often ignored. Which is not how the shooting lobby sees them or their use, of course. And while the government may be making many of the ‘right’ noises when it comes to animal welfare – halting live animal exports, looking hard at the fur industry, banning keeping primates – it has an absolute blind spot when it comes to killing wildlife for fun.

Still, we campaigners don’t appear to be particularly concerned by the subject either. The petition – ‘Make the use of free-running snares illegal for trapping wildlife’ set up by Simon Wild of the National Anti-snaring Campaign – has attracted just over 14000 signatures as of today, a figure that is hardly likely to make Defra think again or worry the shooting industry in any way.

Having said that, there is still time to move the petition along. It doesn’t close until November, so please have a look and send a clear message to the government that we don’t agree with the killing of tens of thousands of animals simply to support the profits of the shooting industry!

 

The Government recognises that some people consider snares to be an inhumane and unnecessary means of trapping wild animals and will launch a call for evidence on the use of snares.

Snares may be used in the UK to catch and restrain certain animals, primarily foxes and rabbits, for the purpose of wildlife management.

Snares are controlled in England and Wales under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. This prohibits the use of self-locking snares and the setting of any type of snare in places where they are likely to catch certain non-target animals such as badgers. It also requires snares to be inspected at least once daily. A person guilty of an offence can receive an unlimited fine or a custodial sentence.

The Animal Welfare Act 2006 also prohibits causing unnecessary suffering to animals under the control of a person, including those animals caught in traps.

The Code of Best Practice on the Use of Snares for Fox Control in England sets out clear principles for the legal and humane use of snares. This was published on 20 October 2016 and can be found at: https://basc.org.uk/codes-of-practice/snares-for-fox-control-in-england/

We know that some people consider snares to be an inhumane and unnecessary means of trapping wild animals, while others maintain they are an essential tool in controlling certain species. Therefore, we have committed to launching a call for evidence on the use of snares. This was announced in our Action Plan for Animal Welfare (www.gov.uk/government/publications/action-plan-for-animal-welfare). We launched the Action Plan in May 2021 as part of our continued drive to maintain the highest animal welfare standards in the world.

The call for evidence will be publicly available online, allowing all interested parties to express their views on the use of snares. In this way, the Government will ensure it has the very latest understanding on this issue, and our position will be informed by the responses received.

Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs, June 2021