Released to press on 02 March 2016
A morning walk turned into an ordeal for three-year-old Springer spaniel Molly last Sunday (21 February 2016), when she was caught in a gamekeeper’s snare set beside a public road. Molly was taken for a walk on the road above Boarsgrove Farm, in the Peak District National Park. When well-trained Molly failed to return to the usual whistle, her owner’s partner investigated and was horrified to find her trapped in a snare, with the wire tight around her neck.
Molly’s owner Julie Roberts explained: “The snares were set on what looked like an animal track, probably fox, badger or red deer, around 100 feet from the main road. There were two snares, and possibly more, set on this track. They were chained to heavy breeze type blocks through the cavity.
“Molly is a very quiet dog who hardly ever barks, but she was making little strangled croaks. She was alive, but she was stressed and hurt.”
The following day Molly’s owners returned to the scene to look at the snares again. They met the local gamekeeper who said that he had set the snares for foxes, and that they were legal. He dismissed concerns about dogs becoming trapped, saying that nobody walked dogs in the area.
It is currently legal in England to set free-running snares for foxes, provided they are inspected daily. However, free-running snares very quickly become kinked or rusty, as was the case with the snare that trapped Molly. A voluntary Code of Practice published by DEFRA and promoted by shooting organisations states that snares must not be set close to roads and footpaths.
OneKind Director Harry Huyton added: “Poor Molly’s ordeal illustrates, yet again, that snares are indiscriminate and pose a danger to any animal that comes in contact with them, including much-loved pets. Fortunately she was found quickly, but time and time again we hear of animals being severely injured by snares – and tragically, the animal’s attempts to escape only make the snare tighter as it twists and tangles.
“There is no way that these primitive wire nooses can ever be humane or selective which is why OneKind is campaigning for them to be banned throughout the UK as soon as possible."
Members of the public can report their concerns about snares on OneKind's dedicated website www.snarewatch.org
For further information or photographs please contact Sarah Moyes on 0131 661 firstname.lastname@example.org