Tag: snares

Hunt Investigation Team | Government Call for Evidence on Snaring

Snares are routinely used throughout the UK but members of the public often don’t know the scale of the cruelty they inflict. Snares are thin wire nooses, set by famers and gamekeepers to catch mammals such as foxes and rabbits. Snares are a very old form of “pest control” – a phrase and practice which is massively outdated today. Snares are causing suffering and death on farmland and shooting estates up and down the country. Often, reports circulate in local news and on social media – we need YOUR HELP to compile them to submit as evidence in the government’s call for information. We need to show the carnage in our countryside, caused by cruel snares. We need to advocate for the animals, killed and injured in the traps. We need to fight for a ban on these outdated devices.

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Govt responds to snares petition

We’ve 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 – banning 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 anyway. 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. But there is still time to move the petition along. It doesn’t close until November, so please have a look!

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Petition | National Anti-snaring Campaign: “Make the use of free-running snares illegal for trapping wildlife”

We’ve written many times about snares on this website (see for example – Snares: legally binding). While many people assume that snares (essentially wire nooses used to trap wild animals) are banned here in the UK, in fact hundreds of thousands of the things are set all over the country. Who is putting them out? Small numbers are used by the farming industry, perhaps some allotment-owners use them – but the vast majority are laid by the shooting industry to trap foxes so they can be killed at leisure. Why foxes? Because they (quite naturally) take small numbers of the 50 MILLION pheasants and partridges released every year to be shot, and small numbers of the 500,000 or so Red Grouse farmed in the uplands every year to be shot. And nothing can be allowed to dent shooting’s profits…So how might those of us oppsed to snares (which appears to be almost everyone except some MPs and the shooting industry) help rid the countryside of them? Simon Wild, of the excellent National Anti-snaring Campaign, has just launched an epetition which asks that the government makes the use of free running snares illegal, putting them in the same category as self-locking snares which are already illegal.

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#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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OneKind | Snarewatch Report 2020

We loathe snares, the cruel, indisriminate weapon of the shooting industry (see – Snares | Legally Binding) and we really like OneKind, the Scottish charity that works for “a world in which non-human animals are recognised as individuals and respected for their capacities and priorities, which are different to but not lesser than ours”. A new report brings both together, and it’s definitely One Kind that comes out best. The Snarewatch Annual Report 2020 is available as a pdf, and consists of case studies of snare use in the UK, highlighting some of the worst snaring incidents reported to OneKind’s snare reporting tool, SnareWatch.org, in 2020. It’s difficult to read it and not ask how come these things are still allowed to be used in the countryside, why there isn’t proper legislation rather than a discredited ‘Code of Practice’, and who benefits from their use? Yes, it’s the shooting industry of course…

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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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