The Use of Snares in Wales
March 17, 2020
Snaring is a method of wildlife management which can cause immense pain and suffering to animals. Victims of snares may die of strangulation or they may weaken, stop struggling and starve to death or be killed by predators, if left unattended.
The use of snares is still widespread – and as many as 51,000 fox snares can be active in Wales at any one time. The use of fox snares in Wales is subject to legal restrictions, principally through the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, Animal Welfare Act 2006 and Deer Act 1991. The use of self-locking snares which tighten with a ratchet-like mechanism is illegal as is the use of snares to catch certain protected animals like badgers and otters. The Welsh Government has also introduced a code of best practice on the use of snares in fox control and users of legal free-running snares must take all reasonable precautions to prevent them catching or causing injury to protected animals like badgers, and to check set snares at least once per day.
Snares are cruel and indiscriminate in what they catch – and the RSPCA supports an outright ban on their use in Wales. Animals caught in snares can suffer a slow and agonising death due to injury – heightening RSPCA Cymru calls for the Welsh Government to implement an outright ban.