A county council in West Sussex has banned new tenants from using cruel and indiscriminate snares to capture live animals on its land.

The West Sussex County Council ban came into force this summer and is attracting interest from other councils across the UK.

The League Against Cruel Sports is calling on other councils to follow suit and set up similar measures which would include existing tenants too.

Chris Luffingham, director of policy, communications and campaigns, at the League Against Cruel Sports, said:

“We’re working hard for a complete ban on snares in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales to prevent the suffering of British wildlife, so we welcome the West Sussex County Council initiative.

“The public can make a difference on a local level by contacting their councillors and urging their councils to bring in measures to ban the barbaric practice of snaring.”

The charity has compared snares to landmines for the indiscriminate way in which these wire traps capture a wide range of animals – from foxes to family pets to protected species.

A snare is an archaic thin metal wire noose intended to catch animals by lassoing and trapping them and can cause horrible and life threatening injuries or a lingering death.

Hundreds of thousands of animals are trapped every year, especially on bird shooting estates, where gamekeepers wage a war of persecution on native animals.

Britain is one of the few European countries where so-called free-running snares are still used and most countries have banned them.

Simon Wild, who represents the National Anti Snaring Campaign, said:

I think councils nationwide would be receptive to banning snares on land they own as Defra’s own 2012 study* has proved they are indiscriminate and cruel. So councillors need little persuading.”

According to opinion polls, 77% of the British public think snares should be illegal (Ipsos MORI, 2014) and 68% of MPs also support a ban on snares. (Dods Poll, 2015)

Watch the League Against Cruel Sports video on snares – The Silent Enemy:

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Notes to editors

  • For more information or interview requests please contact the League Against Cruel Sports Press Office on 01483 524250 (24hrs) or email [email protected] 
  • The League Against Cruel Sports is Britain's leading charity that works to stop animals being persecuted, abused and killed for sport. The League was instrumental in helping bring about the landmark Hunting Act. We carry out investigations to expose law-breaking and cruelty to animals and campaign for stronger animal protection laws and penalties. We work to change attitudes and behaviour through education and manage sanctuaries to protect wildlife. Find out more about our work at www.league.org.uk. Registered charity in England and Wales (no.1095234) and Scotland (no.SC045533).

*The Department for Environment, Defra, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) report from 2012 is entitled Determining the Extent of Use and Humaneness of Snares in England and Wales.