Calls for Welsh Government to ban barbaric snares

The plight of a pet cat caught in a snare for six days illustrates why snaring should be banned as soon as possible by the Welsh government.

Lily the cat went missing for six days before being found injured and caught in a snare by her owner’s grandson, in Ton Pentre, Rhondda.

Snares are thin wire nooses laid by farmers and gamekeepers to trap animals they want to kill. The snare tightens around the animal’s body resulting in prolonged suffering and often a slow agonizing death, and while this time Lily had a lucky escape, she suffered awful injuries.

The League Against Cruel Sports has been campaigning to get these cruel traps banned.

The owner’s daughter, Marie Bargewell, spoke of her shock at her distraught son discovering Lilly, trapped, and injured behind a shed.  

Marie said “Lily has never been missing before now. Residents from the area, are concerned that cats who have gone missing over the years, may well have been caught in a similar trap and were never found.

“The owner of the disused allotment doesn’t own any livestock and yet there are snares and traps everywhere.”

Marie’s mother, who owns Lilly, recently lost her husband, and has struggled to come to terms with the incident.

Marie said, “My mother didn’t sleep or eat for six days and is still very anxious about Lilly’s recovery.”

Marie reported the incident through the League Against Cruel Sports Animal Crimewatch service.

Despite the landowner claiming to have checked the snares daily, the vet treating Lilly, said the extent of Lilly’s injuries and dehydration, indicate that Lilly had been trapped for at least six days.

Lilly was held so tight in the snare, that she had to have an operation to remove all the infected and dead skin from around her abdomen.

Marie said: “Poor Lilly is lucky to be alive. Her injuries were so severe, that she had to be put on to IV fluids, antibiotics and pain-relief, before the vets could even operate.”

Bethan Collins, Senior Public Affairs Officer for Wales, at the League Against Cruel Sports, said “As Lilly’s plight clearly illustrates, snares are cruel and barbaric devices which cause pain and even death to those animals they entrap. Their indiscriminate natures means that they can just as easily capture and harm a pet, a protected wild animal or a perceived ‘pest’ or predator. The League has been campaigning for an end to snaring in Wales for years. We warmly welcome the Welsh Government’s plans to take powers to allow a ban on snares to be brought in in Wales.

“These were outlined in the Agriculture White Paper published in December 2020.  Only a comprehensive ban on snares, covering their manufacture, sale, possession, and use, can ensure that animals in Wales are protected from the cruelty of snares. In their manifesto for the Senedd election earlier this year, Welsh Labour promised to act to address the harm caused by snares.

“Now re-elected to power, the League looks forward to working with them and with MSs across the political spectrum to deliver a ban on snares. Time and time again, independent opinion polling of Welsh residents shows that the vast majority want snares banned.” *1

Bethan also spoke about the importance of the Welsh public using the League’s Animal Crimewatch Service: “Lily’s owner reported the incident to the League via our Animal Crimewatch Service, and now thanks to her perhaps other owners, who may not have had such a happy outcome, will also come forward. If they do, they will help us build up a picture of what is really happening in the Welsh countryside and support our vital campaigning work calling on the Welsh government to ban snaring and better protect thousands of animals.

“Snaring is indiscriminate, and it is stories like Lily’s that help us campaign for real change in Wales. But we urge anyone who sees any abuse of wildlife for ‘sport’ in Wales – whether it be snaring or fox hunting, hare coursing or dog fighting – to contact our Animal Crimewatch Service. You will help make a real difference.”

You can contact Animal Crimewatch via an online form on its website or by phoning 0300 444 1234 or emailing crimewatch@league.org.uk

https://www.league.org.uk/animal-crimewatch

Ends

Notes to editors

*1 In Wales 78 per cent of people want to see snares banned.

https://www.league.org.uk/news/the-caged-breeding-of-game-birds

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 1,085 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 15th - 19th January 2021. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all adults in Wales (aged 18+).

For more information or interview requests please contact the League Against Cruel Sports Press Office on 01483 524250 (24hrs) or email pressoffice@league.org.uk

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).

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