Search Results for: snaring

Snaring in the news again

Literally every week more examples of poor snaring practice are highlighted in the media. Two such examples have been highlighted across social media this weekend by the Hunt Investigation Team and Moorland Monitors. In the first, a badger was found trapped in a snare which was “wrapped around its neck”. In the second, a dog was caught on in a snare set on Access Land on Kinder – National Trust land in the infamous wildlife crime hotspot of the Peak District ‘national park’. Incidents like this are understandably always upsetting for the owners of companion animals, but let’s also acknowledge that the snare was set to do exactly what it did: trap an animal. Dogs and foxes are closely related. they share the same capacity for sentience, for fear, for feeling pain. Unlike a pet that is (under most circumstances) fed and looked after by an owner, a wild animal has no choice but to hunt to feed itself and its family though. Countless thousands of foxes are being trapped and are suffering in snares like this every week, drawn to the overabundance of prey that shoots ‘provide’.

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Daily Mirror | Burning Britain’s moorland like ‘cutting down rainforest’

“Across the parched moors, now a tinderbox, all I can see is smoke.” That’s a line from an article published in the Daily Mirror which heavily criticises the routine torching of one of the UK’s most precious habitats simply so that a few people can blast living targets out of the sky. The article in the paper is well illustrated (while not all the images are connected with burning, they do all set the scene well) and actually reads like the personal experience it is, rather than the typical amalgam of press-releases re-written to produce a ‘balanced’ report that says little of interest. So kudos Nada Farhoud, the paper’s Environment Editor, for going on-site and seeing for herself the ecological and climate damage being wrought by the driven grouse shooting industry. The shooting industry will hate the article, and given the ferocity that lobbyists have been going after anyone who dares to question their version of ‘burning is conservation’ or ‘burning is best for the environment’, Nada’s inbox is no doubt being flooded with emails slamming her. And given the disgusting treatment meted out to Raptor Persecution UK’s Ruth Tingay by shooters defending their ludicrous pastime, no doubt those emails will contain some deeply unpleasant and offensive sentiments.

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Ban Snares in Wales

Snares are horrible things – steel nooses that are banned in many countries, but not here in the UK. Why would that be? Because the shooting industry uses them. Thousands upon thousands of them. They’re cheap to make, easy to use, light to carry, quickly replaced if you can’t quite remember where you left them. They’re basically an easy, low-skilled way to kill (or maim/injure) wildlife. And the shooting industry loves them. the industry may try to greenwash its use of snares and its considerations for animal welfare, wild animals – whether predator or prey animals – don’t behave passively under stressful conditions. Frightened, trapped animals will always try to escape. The internet is awash with images showing animals that have been almost cut in half by snares, that have died wrapped up in them, that – rather than sit and pass the time of day reflecting on how nice it is not to run around for a change – have tried to gnaw off their own limbs to escape them. The following petition is aimed at securing a ban in Wales, but is open to all of us to sign.

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Royal Patronages: Fit for the 21st Century?

A few days ago the National Anti Snaring Campaign released news of a Little Owl found dead in a fenn trap on the Queen’s Sandringham Estate. The trap had of course been laid by a gamekeeper to ‘protect’ pheasants – ‘protected’ until a royal shooting party wandered up and killed them of course. Much criticism was directed towards the Royals themselves. They have repeatedly been called out as hypocrites, purporting to be pro-conservation while being renowned for the huge number of birds of mammals they have shot or hunted on their various estates – Boxing Day still sees gatherings of royals of all sorts and all ages blowing birds out of the December skies – and on overseas trips. Prince Charles, president of the National Trust, notoriously called fox hunting ‘romantic’ in 2002 and was reportedly furious with Tony Blair for the Hunting Act. This isn’t an ‘anti-Royal’ rant incidentally (though it will be characterised as such): it’s much more a questioning of the ethical principles of charities that align with individuals connected so closely with – and so supportive of – shooting and hunting, royal or otherwise.

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Little Owl found dead in Fenn trap on Queen’s estate

Let’s ask ourselves a question: who – or what – uses hundreds of thousands of traps to kill millions of native mammals and birds? Mammals like foxes, stoats, Mountain Hares, and birds like carrion Crows, Jays, and, it turns out – and who knows how often this has happened in the past – Little Owls. These are tiny birds: about the size of a starling, or 22 cms (8.7 in). They typically breed in small holes or clefts, and will often hunt for food by swooping to the ground and running after their prey (small mammals), chasing them into tunnels. Ground-based traps with open entrances which are designed to kill mustelids. It seems inconceivable that ‘accidents’ like this haven’t happened more regularly. We’ll never know of course because few of us are looking into traps, and even fewer are doing so before gamekeepers empty those traps and dispose of evidence. The thanks of all of us should go to the member of the public who discovered this shocking example of gamekeeping’s grim toll on our wildlife, and kudos to the National Anti Snaring Campaign who reported it on Facebook.

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Alex Hogg knows nothing about birdwatching…

The wonderful Raptor Persecution UK (RPUK) has posted a blog today about a claim by Alex Hogg, Chair of the Scottish Gamekeepers Association, that grouse moors – those wildlife crime-riddled, ecologically devastated, playgrounds for so-called ‘sportsmen’ – are ‘a birdwatchers’ paradise’. RPUK has analysed the context and linked back to numerous articles of their own looking at the rampant raptor persecution that takes place on grouse moors, so – stepping outside of ‘team WoW’ for a moment – as a life-long birdwatcher I’d like to add my own comments about Hogg’s ignorant claims from a personal perspective. I had planned to leave it at the tweet posted below, but I won’t let him get away with it so lightly.

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Guest Post: Hunt Investigation Team | #SnareAware

“In 2016, a majority of UK MPs voted to ban the manufacture, sale, possession and use of snares outright. The government ignored this and instead introduced an unregulated voluntary Code of Practice. Since then, a damning catalogue of breaches has been documented by HIT, NASC and other groups. The Code of Practice is demonstrably failing on multiple levels and snare users have consistently proven themselves incapable of self-regulation. An outright ban on snaring in the UK is needed…The situation is brought into sharp relief when we consider the huge numbers of snares in use in England and Wales – hundreds for each shooting estate and many more on farmland. These high numbers of unregulated snares in use inevitably lead to an unacceptably high rate of suffering.” Guest post, Hunt Investigation Team

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Huge majority of Scots opposed to grouse shooting

New data gathered by League Against Cruel Sports Scotland as part of its work with the Revive Coalition for grouse moor reform show that seven in ten of those polled are opposed to grouse shooting for sport. The figures will come as an unwelcome wake-up call to the grouse shooting industry which has relied for years on its ‘normalisation’ of slaughtering grouse and a supportive media trotting out the mantra of tradition, ‘sport’ and the (in)glorious twelfth and the importance to the economy of a relatively few minimum wage jobs. That was never sustainable under targeted analysis that has uncovered the truth about wildlife crime, raptor persecution, widescale trapping of snaring of native predators, and the burning of the uplands solely to support the intensive farming of Red grouse for the gun.

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