Fighting to Ban Snares in Wales
The last few months of 2016 were a busy time for the League in Wales, and recent developments have given us grounds for optimism in our campaign to ban the manufacture, sale and use of snares.
Over the summer, we submitted a petition to the Welsh Assembly calling for a ban which garnered more than 1400 signatures in just seven weeks. In September, Eduardo Goncalves travelled to Cardiff to hand the petition over to Mike Hedges AM, the Chair of the Welsh Assembly’s Petitions Committee. Whilst in Wales, Eduardo also met with Mark Reckless AM, who is the Chair of the Environment and Rural Affairs Committee.
Following on from our petition, we were invited to give evidence to the Climate Change, Environment and Rural Affairs Committee, and on the 30th November, our Welsh Public Affairs Officer Rhiannon Evans and our Head of Policy Jordi Casitmanjana appeared in front of the Committee at the Senedd. We were joined by Simon Wild from the National Anti-Snaring Campaign. Assembly Members seemed receptive to our arguments, and we are hopeful that there will be further progress towards our goal of a complete ban on snares as a result of the session.
In mid November, we also attended a meeting to discuss how the Welsh Government Code of Best Practice on the use of snares in fox control is working, one year on from its publication. Alongside representatives from other animal welfare groups, the shooting and farming lobby, and Welsh police forces, we travelled to Pontypridd to meet with Welsh Government officials and discuss the impact and efficacy of the Code.
A snare that is compliant with the Welsh Code of Best Practice can still cause injury or death to the animal it catches, and even 100 per cent compliance with the Code of Practice would not prevent non-target species being caught in snares. We were therefore unsurprised to find that none of the shooting or farming organisations present was able to display any evidence of the Code improving animal welfare standards, or increasing the humaneness or effectiveness of snares. The Code of Practice was a fruitless attempt by the Welsh Government to do the right thing but a year on there is no evidence that it is improving animal welfare standards and we will continue to push for a complete ban on the manufacture, sale and use of snares in Wales.