Tag: snares

#BanSnares | Hunt Investigation Team and Animal Aid

“Animal Aid is launching a new campaign which calls for a ban on the manufacture, sale, possession and use of snares.” Mirroring former MP Jim Dowd’s 2016 call in Parliament for a complete ban on snares, the superb Hunt Investigation Team (HIT) and animal rights organisation Animal Aid have launched a campaign to rid the countryside of the hundreds of thousands of wire nooses laid by the shooting industry to eradicate native predators. This campaign is only just getting started. It will be ramped up until they are eradicated and our wildlife is safe from the blight of snares.

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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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Appeal | Help find Oxfordshire illegal fox trapper

On December 24th horrific photos emerged from near Abingdon, Oxford of a fox dragging around a spring-loaded ‘gin trap’. The animal must have been in agony and in shock, and Oxfordshire Wildlife Rescue (OWR) spent the night with other concerned local residents looking for him/her so that they could remove it. Traps like these – which have incredibly powerful metal spring jaws and cause significant injury and pain – have been banned for use in the UK since July 1958. Unfortunately, though, it is still legal to sell these disgusting traps as ‘antiques’ for display purposes only, which means there are still plenty in circulation. Whoever set this trap needs to be prosecuted. Finding out who that is, is of course not easy, but a fund has been set up and the ‘go fund me’ appeal which is linked to here has been set up to add to that reward (and kudos Christine Hoxworth for taking the initiative).

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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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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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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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Portrait of a fox cub on grouse moor

A beautiful wild animal on an upland, photographed exploring the world it’s just been born in? No, yet another victim of grouse shooting. A tweet from the grassroots community network Moorland Monitors says it all really: another dead animal on a grouse moor, shot dead after being trapped in a snare. This cub was found by the Calder Valley Hunt Saboteurs on a snare site near Hebden Bridge. It will be just one of thousands of fox cubs killed this month to protect the grouse shooting industry’s profits.

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Bob Berzins’ ‘Snared’ – Audio version: Chapter One

This week we’ve posted twice about Bob Berzins’ new novel ‘Snared’. The first was a book review, the second a blog post by Bob himself. He asked what other ways there might be to help ‘Snared’ to reach a larger audience. What did we know about producing an audiobook for instance…? If you’ve someone who could read it, we could certainly help out with the editing, we said. I know just the man, he replied. And so a plan was hatched…

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