Snares are cruel, primitive and indiscriminate traps that are used throughout Scotland to control foxes. OneKind is calling for a complete ban in the sale, use and manufacture of snares in Scotland.
Snares continue to be used across Scotland and the UK, mostly to protect gamebirds from fox predation to benefit the shooting industry. They cause extreme physical and mental suffering to the animals they catch, and they are indiscriminate in what type of animal they capture. Through www.SnareWatch.org, we’ve had reports of all kinds of animals including protected species like badgers and otters, as well as family pets like cats and dogs being caught and even killed in snares. Thousands of animals are thought to suffer and die in this way every year; we believe this is a completely unacceptable situation.
Five reasons why snares should be banned
- Snares are indiscriminate – They will catch, maim and kill a range of non-target species, including protected species such as badgers and otters, as well as dogs and cats.
- Snares are non-selective – They capture foxes and other animals that are lactating, pregnant or juveniles
- Snares are cruel – Snares have long been known to inflict extreme physical and mental suffering on captured animals
- Snares are incompatible with conservation – The UK populations of three main target species for which snares are generally used in Scotland – red fox, rabbit and brown hare – are all in decline. SNH and all major conservation bodies managing land in Scotland do not use snares.
- Regulation has failed – Attempts to regulate snare use have not succeeded in reducing the suffering they cause to captured animals
What is the snaring law in Scotland?
The law in Scotland is stronger than the rest of the UK, yet it still offers Scotland’s animals very little protection. In the UK, snares must be free-running to reduce the risk of snare wire causing flesh wounds and snares must be checked every 24 hours. In Scotland, there are additional requirements, such as ensuring snares are fitted with a stop to prevent animals from being strangled, requiring operators to complete a training course by a rural college or shooting industry body to receive an ID number from Police Scotland, which must be present on all their snares. This requirement can aid enforcement, but does nothing to protect animals from the inherent welfare problems of snares.
It might look like the current legislation is comprehensive, but the evidence shows that it’s just not working which is why we support an outright ban on snares in Scotland.
What’s the solution?
The continued widespread suffering of animals in the grips of snares across Scotland demonstrates that the regulatory approach has failed. OneKind is calling for a complete ban in the use, sale and manufacture of snares. This is the only way the suffering will end.
What do I do if I find a snare?
If there is a live animal in the snare, call the relevant animal charity. We do not advise trying to release an animal yourself as the animal could be injured and require medical attention.
Scotland – Scottish SPCA Animal Helpline 03000 999 999
England and Wales – RSPCA Cruelty line 0300 1234 999
Northern Ireland – USPCA Animal Information Line 028 3025 1000
If you suspect the snare is illegal, call the Police on 101
Always report snares or snaring incidents to OneKind via www.snarewatch.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We can advise you on next steps and your report will help us understand and communicate the problems snares cause.
More information about snares
In Autumn 2016 OneKind and the League Against Cruel Sports Scotland published a major report about the use of snares in Scotland and the problems they cause. Read Cruel and Indiscriminate – Why Scotland must become snare-free