It’s time for a Snare-Free Scotland

Sarah Moyes's avatar
Sarah Moyes
06 February 2017

Last week, we were alerted to another poor fox that had been caught in a snare.

Fox at Hessilhead

The snare had snapped at the stake but got stuck around its middle. The fox managed to run off with the snare still trapped around him, but then went and got caught in another snare.

Until snares are banned, no fox in Scotland is safe. This fox was one of the lucky ones. It was rescued by our friends at Hessilhead Wildlife Rescue and has now been released back into the wild.

Snares continue to be used across the country, mostly to control foxes on shooting estates. But foxes are not the only animal they catch. Snares are indiscriminate and trap a wide range of animals including protected species like badgers and otters.

In the first 24 hours of #SnareFreeScotland e-action launching last week, we had several reports from people who had found their pets caught in snares. Two people told us that they had found their dogs trapped in snares. On both occasions, the animals had stayed very still which meant they escaped without any serious injury. However, not all the stories had a happy ending. One woman told us that her cat was missing for a few weeks before being found in a snare. Someone had cut the snare free, but left it wrapped around the cat’s leg. The poor animal suffered in extreme pain before having to have his leg amputated.

These are just some examples which clearly show the current law on snares in Scotland is quite simply not working. The law in Scotland is stronger than the rest of the UK, but it still offers our 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, additional requirements include ensuring snares are fitted with a stop and requiring operators to complete a training course to receive an ID number from Police Scotland, which must be present on all their snares.

It might look like the current legislation is comprehensive, but the evidence shows it is not working which is why we’re calling on Scottish politicians to demand a ban on the manufacture, sale, possession and use of snares in Scotland. If this is going to happen, then we need your help.

What you can do to help?

Please take this action now. It only takes a few seconds to do and it will send an email to your MSPs asking them to support our Snare-Free Scotland campaign. We will be monitoring MSP responses and will keep a record of all those who back an end to this cruel and inhumane practice too.

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Saving Scotland's Foxes with Hessilhead