After having considered licensed exceptions to the forthcoming ban on snaring, the Scottish Government has rejected that possibility and committed to a full ban.

On 9th of November Gillian Martin MSP, Minister for Energy and Environment, confirmed in a letter to the Rural Affairs and Islands (RAI) Committee that she plans to introduce "a full ban on the use of snares" in the Wildlife Management and Muirburn (Scotland) Bill.

It is hard to describe our emotions when we heard the news. Let’s settle for a combination of elated and relieved. As you know, we have campaigned for decades to end the terrible suffering caused by snares.

Badgers in field.OneKind Director, Bob Elliot, said in response:

I am so very pleased to see that the Scottish Government agrees that the serious animal welfare issues related to the use of wire snares means a complete ban is needed.

"To all those companion animals and those wild animals who have suffered in snares over the years, this is for you”.

How did we get to this point?

We were delighted in August when the Scottish Government announced its proposal to ban snares, but have been worried about the possibilities of exceptions. There has been a lot of pressure from snare users to create such exceptions, for research and, particularly, for licensed use of snares (rebranded as cable restraints) for ‘predator control.’

Thank you to those of you who used our guide to respond the consultation about the proposed ban. The results of that consultation revealed that the majority of Scots (70%) were in support of the proposed snaring ban and further, more than 70% are opposed to exceptions for research or other reasons.

For our part, we have been working hard to ensure decision makers have accurate information, and push for a full ban. We have sent several briefings to the RAI committee, met with civil servants and with the Minister, and coordinated a letter to the Minister signed by conservation and animal welfare organisations.

Most recently, the day before the Minister’s letter, our Director Bob Elliot gave evidence to the RAI committee on a roundtable session about the proposed ban.

What’s next?

Red fox in woodland.

The Stage One debate for the Bill is scheduled for the 29th November. This is when the Parliament discusses and approves the general principles of the Bill. After that, at Stage Two, there is a chance for amendments (changes) to be made to the Bill, including the one that will introduce the snaring ban. That will probably be early next year. We will continue to work throughout the passage of the Bill to provide information and support around the measures that can bring improvements in wild animal welfare.

In the meantime, we need you to continue to show the Scottish Government how much of a demand there is from the Scottish public for a full ban on snaring. Ministers are under a lot of pressure from those who wish to continue to use snares and are angry about the ban. 

We ask you to join us in thanking Gillian Martin MSP for not compromising on animal welfare and committing to a full ban on snares. If you can, please use our tweet template and encourage your followers to share.

Thank Gillian Martin MSP 


Once again, thank you for all your support, we couldn’t have got here without you. We will continue to deliver updates on this Bill and campaign to ban snares – once and for all.