Snaring – cruel, indiscriminate, still legal

Snares are cruel, indiscriminate, and sadly still legal – but the pressure is on for the government to act. The League Against Cruel Sports is calling for swift action to ban the manufacture, possession, sale, and use of snares.

Snares are thin wire nooses, often set by shooting estates, designed to catch and restrain animals such as foxes and rabbits. These outdated devices can cause injury and death, including through strangulation and cuts to skin, muscle, and bone. Research published in 2012 by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs also indicates that around three quarters of the animals trapped are the not the intended victims, and can include protected species like badgers and domestic pets such as cats. The scale of the problem is staggering – based on this research, as many as a quarter of a million snares are estimated to be set at any one time in England and Wales alone at the annual peak of their use.

Working with partners across the animal welfare sector, the League last year helped to secure a government pledge to examine the use of snares. Our calls for a ban on snaring were backed by a coalition of 50 charities in its Act Now for Animalsvision for animal welfare, and Environment minister Rebecca Pow has since acknowledged the ‘immense suffering’ that snares can cause. However, the commitment contained within the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs’ Action Plan for Animal Welfare is so far unfulfilled.

The UK is one of just a handful of countries in Europe which still allows snaring. The government in Westminster now risks being left further behind, with the League’s campaigning resulting in a ban on snares being included in the Welsh Government’s Programme for Government. Measures to end the use of snares are expected to be contained within the forthcoming Agriculture (Wales) Bill this year.

The League would welcome the launch of the promised call for evidence on snaring as soon as possible. However, we believe the case is already clear and that as a nation of animal lovers, we can no longer tolerate allowing such a cruel practice to continue. We therefore call for the manufacture, sale, possession, and use of snares to prohibited without further delay.

The League encourages MPs to sign EDM 925 in support of the campaign.

Please do get in touch to speak further about ending snaring in the UK.

Contact: Will Morton (Head of Public Affairs)


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