Released to press on 14 March 2017
The League Against Cruel Sports Scotland and OneKind are urging the Scottish Government to consider and consult on a ban on snares following a review of snaring in Scotland.
The findings of the review, commissioned by the Scottish Government and carried out by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH), were published today (Tuesday). The charities have branded the findings “a wasted opportunity”, and have criticised the limited scope of the review. In 2010, during the passage of the Wildlife and Natural Environment (Scotland) Act, MSPs voted for a regulatory regime for snare use in Scotland rather than an outright ban, but made provisions for a review to be carried out by December 2016.
SNH was tasked with examining the impact of the regulations and has published its findings. The report has found that snaring related incidents have reduced and made a number of recommendations for further small changes to the way which snares are regulated.
The limited remit of the review meant consideration of a ban on snaring was not included in the research, which both the League Scotland and OneKind say was a flaw from the offset. Both charities want to see snaring banned in Scotland on animal welfare and ethical grounds.
Robbie Marsland, Director of the League Against Cruel Sports, Scotland said: “Since the snaring regulations were introduced over five years ago animals have continued to endure needless suffering as a result of cruel and indiscriminate traps. This review was never going to resolve the problem, it was, sadly, a wasted opportunity. Regulations are not a workable solution for something as crude and barbaric as a snare. In short, you can't regulate cruelty.
“We have long argued that a ban is the only way to eradicate the problems associated with snaring. We will now step up our campaign to convince the Scottish Government to take the common sense approach and ban the manufacture, sale, possession and use of all snares once and for all.”
The League Scotland and OneKind have been critical of SNH’s approach to animal welfare which both charities say has been overlooked in the review process.
Harry Huyton, Director of OneKind, said:
“The review was an opportunity to assess whether the new snaring regulations had ended the suffering and indiscriminate capture caused by snares. Yet it was destined to fail from day one due to a bizarre and inadequate remit which specifically excluded considering whether snares have a place at all in a modern Scotland. This is in spite of the fact that they are banned throughout most of Europe. Rather than accepting what amounts to tinkering at the margins of the issue, I hope that the Scottish Parliament will now ask for a detailed consideration of a ban. Failure to do so will condemn thousands of animals to continue to suffer in the grips of snares across the country.”
“We are hugely disappointed that SNH has sought welfare advice on the use of snares from pro-snaring organisations such as the Scottish Gamekeepers Association and the British Association for Shooting and Conservation rather than independent expert evidence to assess whether the aspirations of the Scottish Parliament are being met. We remain convinced that the legislation has not been sufficient to prevent severe animal suffering and will continue to campaign for a complete ban.”
The League Against Cruel Sports Scotland and OneKind have worked together for almost a decade to expose the cruelty of snare use in Scotland developing considerable knowledge and expertise regarding the welfare of wild animals and impact of these primitive, indiscriminate traps over this time.
Notes to editor
- The League Against Cruel Sports is Britain's leading charity that works to stop animals being persecuted, abused and killed for sport. The League was instrumental in helping bring about the landmark Hunting Act. We carry out investigations to expose law-breaking and cruelty to animals and campaign for stronger animal protection laws and penalties. We work to change attitudes and behaviour through education and manage sanctuaries to protect wildlife. Find out more about our work at www.league.org.uk. Registered charity in England and Wales (no.1095234) and Scotland (no.SC045533).
- OneKind exposes, challenges and ends cruelty to Scotland’s animals through campaigns, research & education.
- The Snare-Free Scotland campaign is a joint campaign by the League Against Cruel Sport Scotland and OneKind.
- A full and detailed review of snaring in Scotland by LACSS & OneKind was published in September 2016. The report, Cruel and Indiscriminate, Why Scotland must become Snare-Free, is available here.
- Case studies of snaring incidents in Scotland, including photo and video footage, are available on request
- Media enquiries to Louise Robertson on 07930 539832 / firstname.lastname@example.org
For further information or photographs please contact Sarah Moyes on 0131 661 email@example.com