Historic vote to ban snares in Wales

A vote in the Senedd tonight [TUESDAY] has paved the way for a complete ban in Wales on cruel traps known as snares, the first country in the UK to take this big step forward for animal welfare.

The vote to ban snares was part of the stage three debate on the Agriculture (Wales) Bill, during which amendments designed to water down the snares ban were defeated.

The legislative process now moves on to the fourth and final stage in which the Senedd is expected to ratify the bill as early as next week, subject to King’s consent.

It follows over five years of campaigning by animal welfare charity the League Against Cruel Sports.

Will Morton, head of public affairs at the League Against Cruel Sports, said: “Wales is leading the way in animal welfare by being the first country to ban these cruel and indiscriminate traps.

“We thank the thousands of campaigners who are backing the ban in Wales and the MSs who gave cross party support to make it become a reality.”

The debate tonight saw the defeat of amendments to allow so-called humane cable restraints, a term used by the shooting industry lobby to try and mask the cruelty of these devices.

Snares are cruel wire traps – nearly quarter of a million lie hidden in the British countryside at any one time – and are used by shooting industry gamekeepers on ‘game’ bird shoots to trap wildlife.

They tighten around the neck, torso or legs of the animal and cause immense pain and suffering to their trapped victims for hours or days before the animal is either shot or faces a lingering death.

They trap indiscriminately and government figures from Defra show nearly three quarters of the animals caught are not the intended target species.

Polling carried out by YouGov in January 2021 showed 78 per cent of the Welsh public wanted snares to be made illegal.

Once the Agriculture (Wales) Bill is passed – something that is all but inevitable – it will then come into force two months after receiving royal assent.

Will added: “The ban on the use of snares will protect wild, farmed and domestic animals from falling victim to these brutal devices, a move that will be welcomed by the vast majority of the Welsh people.

“The next step is to lobby the UK and Scottish governments to follow the precedence set in Wales and to ban these barbaric devices.”


Notes to editors

The League is to hold an event/photoshoot with supportive MSs and campaigners outside the Senedd on the day of the stage four vote takes place – date to be determined – to celebrate the ban on snares in Wales.

The League is also campaigning for the UK and Scottish Governments to enact similar legislation in England and Scotland.

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+).

Full polling results are available here.

For more information or interview requests please contact the League Against Cruel Sports Press Office on 07496 496454 (24hrs) or email pressoffice@league.org.uk

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Photo credit: Wild Moors

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