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Scottish Government considers ban on snare traps

The Scottish government is seeking views on whether the use of snare traps could be banned or if any exemptions should be considered.

A snare is a thin wire noose used for catching a wild animal for the purposes of wildlife management, but there is also a risk that pets can be caught in them.

Environment Minister Gillian Martin said: “Snare traps lead to unnecessary suffering for animals and these proposals are part of our ongoing efforts to ensure that wildlife management is both sustainable and humane.

“Currently, only a small number of farmers and land managers use snare traps. More effective and humane forms of managing wildlife are available and we will continue to support the industry to make use of these methods.”

Scottish SPCA Chief Superintendent Mike Flynn said: “The Scottish SPCA strongly supports this announcement by the Scottish government. As Scotland’s animal welfare charity, we have long called for an outright ban on the use of snares due to the level of suffering an animal is caused.

“Animals that are caught in snares can be caused unimaginable physical and mental anguish. Following reports from members of the public, we have found domestic animals, protected species and target animals that have all suffered dreadfully in both illegal and legal snares.

“A ban on all snaring is the only way to stop this unacceptable suffering. We are very pleased with the announcement of a ban, which will be a historic moment for animal welfare in Scotland.”

Subject to consultation, the new provisions would be included in the Scottish Government’s upcoming Wildlife Management and Muirburn (Scotland) Bill that will aim to protect the environment and help end the persecution of birds of prey.

The consultation will run for six weeks from until 3 October 2023.

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