The true impact of snares – something we don’t normally get to see but what we all need to know
The guest author, a dedicated conservationist and animal welfare advocate from West Wales, would like to remain anonymous due to the sensitive nature of this blog.
A snare is a thin wire noose set to trap animals which some people view as being a pest or threat. They are intended to catch the animals around the neck like a lasso.
Many people are very surprised that such a brutal way of trapping animals is still allowed, but it is. Most people believe that if it takes place the animal is held gently until killed or released.
What really happens is totally different and the animal often suffers a terrible death. In a UK Government survey in 2012 it was found that three quarters of animals caught, killed or wounded in snares included animals such as badgers, hares, deer, otters and family cats and dogs i.e. not the intended targets.
Recently at the local Animal Rescue Centre we yet again received another snared animal. This was a female badger and had a snare extremely tight around its chest, so tight it could hardly be seen, which once again makes a joke of the so-called free running snares which supposedly tightens and then relaxes.
After the usual struggle and using the essential snare-cutting tools we managed to remove it. The badger was taken to the local vet where she could see how much serious injury had taken place.
The snare had cut into the flesh of the chest, but we hoped that with antibiotics and pain killers the badger may survive.
We have found it essential that if an animal is found in a snare it is not just released without seeking veterinary advice and never to just cut between the snare stake and the animal which will allow the animal to run off still with the snare around its body, which will probably mean a slow suffering death.
Having received the antibiotics and pain killers the badger was brought back to the Animal Rescue Centre. Over the next few days we watched it was watched via night camera. Initially it appeared to be recovering but gradually we noticed it had developed a limp and only moving about slowly.
After a few days and feeling that all was not right with the patient the badger was taken again to the vet who found the snare had broken down the skin. Despite the antibiotics, the wound was now heavily infected and deep into the flesh, and the vet could only recommend that the animal be put down.
In our experience this often happens with snare wounds - although nothing is visible initially, the skin breakdown develops within a week. Once again, this incident showed again the brutality of snaring and why it should be banned.
The League Against Cruel Sports is doing everything it can to protect animals from snares, as in Wales they are mainly set up by shooting estates to eliminate animals that predate on 'game' birds, and therefore this is a subject linked to cruel sports.
For more information on snares and the League’s work please visit their website here: https://www.league.org.uk/snares.
Take action today by asking your Senedd candidates to ban snares in Wales: https://bredtodie.co.uk/