It’s peak snaring season in the British countryside. Snares are used throughout the country, mostly to target foxes to protect gamebirds.
This includes pheasants that are bred in large pens and then released to be shot, and grouse, which are wild but are protected diligently by gamekeepers so that they can be shot for ‘sport’.
OneKind runs www.SnareWatch.org with the aim of compiling evidence of how snares are used and the impact they have. Here’s three cases reported this year that alone demonstrate that snares are cruel and indiscriminate, and should be banned outright.
Those who defend the use of snares argue they are humane traps that simply restrain the fox until the trap operator checks the trap and humanly ‘dispatches’ the animal. They also argue that snare operators are diligent and operate within the law. Reports to SnareWatch.org suggest otherwise.
In March, we received this report of an illegally set snare that could have led to a prolonged and painful death for the fox involved. Luckily, however, a member of the public found the fox struggling in the trap, and the Scottish SPCA were able to save the poor animal.
Whilst snares are set for foxes they are indiscriminate and can capture (and kill) all sorts of animals. In fact, most reports we get to SnareWatch.org relate to people’s pets. The snaring of this cat in Cumbria was reported in February.
This cat was one of the lucky ones. It was able to return to its family unharmed after its traumatic experience. Sadly, we receive many reports of cats and dogs that whose snaring ordeals end tragically.
Snared badgers are also a common occurrence. Snares are set with the circumference of a fox’s neck in mind, with a stop set to prevent strangulation. Badgers mostly appear to get snared round their necks or waists, both of which are much bigger than a fox’s neck. The snare will therefore often tear into their flesh as they struggle causing horrific wounds, suffering, and in many cases, such as this one which was reported in April, death.
Snares are cruel, indiscriminate and unnecessary. We think they should be banned. Please share this blog to get the message out, and if you’re in Scotland please take part in our Snare-Free Scotland email campaign now.