Today, we have launched our new report, SnareWatch Annual Report 2020: Case studies of snare use in the UK. The report highlights some of the worst snaring incidents reported to our snare reporting tool, SnareWatch.org, in 2020.
The report includes snaring incidents involving target species, such as foxes, and non-target species, including dogs, cats and farmed animals. Most of the animals that were found alive, but injured, required veterinary attention.
In one particularly upsetting incident, a dog required 25 stitches for a wound that narrowly missed his artery. His guardian reported that he returned to her on a walk with a hole in his chest and exposed muscle and nerves. The vet who treated him suspected that his injuries were consistent with being entangled in a snare.
Sadly, in another, wide-scale snaring case, it came to light that a South Wales man was snaring foxes, clubbing them to death and then selling the animals’ fur to Europe and beyond. This is a legal activity. Indeed, the Welsh Government commented that it had no plans to review its regulations on fur-trapping or selling fur from wild animals, such as foxes and rabbits.
Highlighting snaring incidents in this mini case study report allows us to show just how much of a widespread practice snaring is in the UK and how much suffering these archaic traps can cause to animals.
Time for an outright ban
Shockingly, snares are still legal in Scotland. In fact, the UK was one of only five EU countries which permitted the use of snares.
In 2017, we welcomed NatureScot’s decision to stop issuing licenses to snare mountain hares. This decision was made based on animal welfare reasons. However, foxes and rabbits can still legally be snared. This is completely unacceptable and discriminatory. Suffering is suffering, no matter what species of animal it is inflicted upon. Snares must be banned outright. You can keep up to date with our campaign to #EndWildlifeKillings here and across our social media channels.
Report snare sightings to SnareWatch
Since 2011 we have been appealing for reports about snares found by members of the public through our website SnareWatch.org. SnareWatch is a reporting tool, where anyone in the UK can report snare sightings and snaring incidents and get advice on how to report any illegal incidents. We urge anyone out walking in the countryside to take photos and report any snares or snaring incidents.