The grouse shooting season is now underway, but for many in rural England that familiar sound of cracking gunshots will permeate our skies in some areas today, marking the start of the partridge shooting season and across the rest of the country on October 1st when the popular pheasant shooting season begins. It is sad but not surprising that while the shooting fraternity will joyfully protest that their ‘sport’ is vital for conservation and that they are concerned about animal welfare but will conveniently forget to mention that tens of thousands of other animals will be wiped out each day in order to protect these valuable bird stocks.
Primitive predator control methods such as the wire snare continue to be the gamekeepers favourite, not because they are effective but more likely because they are cheap. Consequently, due to the indiscriminate nature of these traps all species that can freely roam within their vicinity are at serious risk. Reports come into the League each year of endangered species, horses, cattle, cats and dogs falling victim to snares. As i write this blog, thousands of thin wire nooses are set and hidden in the undergrowth bordering national parks, common land and public pathways.
Banned in many countries across the EU for their cruelty and ineffectiveness in targeting predators, gamekeepers in the UK still feel this huge cost of life is obviously worth it. Snares have the potential to inflict serious injuries and often cause a slow, lingering death commonly caused by asphyxiation, strangulation or decapitation.
If you or anyone you know hears of a snaring incident then please get in contact with us as we would like to hear from you. If you are a pet owner and live near to a shooting estate then now is the time to be especially vigilant.
We must keep the pressure on our government to realise that these traps have no place in today’s society and should be banned. Please go to our snaring page
to find out how else you can help.