Snaring in Northern Ireland

As in other parts of the UK, we continue to press for a full ban on the sale, manufacture, and use of snares in Northern Ireland. The League believes snaring is a cruel, indiscriminate, ineffective and outdated method of predator control. The League believes that regulation is not working, is ineffective in addressing animal welfare concerns and the only way to address this is to completely ban the manufacture, sale and use of all snares.

An undercover investigation 'Tightening the noose' was carried out by the League in Northern Ireland in early 2010 into the use of snares on key shooting estates. It found mass breaches of the code of conduct which informally regulates the practice of snaring. The League found snares set with ‘no stops’ as well as snares set over water courses and attached to drag poles, all of which contravene industry guidelines.

In December 2015, the then-Environment Minister Mark H Durkan introduced legislation, which would have seen the same kind of ineffective regulation that is currently in place in England and Wales. The League and our supporters lobbied the Minister to withdraw the legislation, and introduce a full ban. While the lobby was successful, and the legislation withdrawn, Assembly elections prevented any further move towards a ban.

In October 2016, it was announced that the same Snares Order would be re-introduced. Despite opposition from several MLAs, the Assembly’s Agriculture, Environment, and Rural Affairs Committee passed the regulation. We are working with MLAS from all parties to press the case for a ban, and ensure that Northern Ireland does not fall behind when it comes to animal welfare.

Another League investigation into snaring in Northern Ireland in 2016 discovered more shocking evidence of animal suffering, as can be seen in our video Snare Horror Exposed.