News Blog It’s time to consign snares to the history books 16-08-22 We recently have been gearing up for our upcoming demonstration, calling on the Scottish Government to finally consign snares to history. We are delighted to be joined by our supporters on the day, alongside a range of different speakers. We have also secured celebrity support, with videos to be screened of Alan Cumming, Chris Packham and Peter Egan speaking impassionately on the topic. OneKind has long campaigned for a ban on the sale and use of snares, lobbying the Scottish Government, raising public awareness about the suffering they cause, and launching our SnareWatch reporting website back in 2011. This isn’t the first time we’ve headed to the doors of the Parliament to call for a ban on snares. Back in 2008, we joined forces with The League Against Cruel Sports for a demonstration outside Holyrood, urging for a full ban. This, along with other lobbying work, helped achieve some of the most stringent legislation on snaring in the UK, introduced by the Scottish Government in 2011. But regulations are not enough. Nothing short of a full ban Snaring regulations might be stricter in Scotland compared to the rest of the UK, but they’ve failed to protect animals from the extreme physical and mental suffering caused by these archaic devices. We spoke about this in our 2019 Untold Suffering Report, which featured evidence on the cruelty of snares from multiple case studies, as well as expert veterinary opinion. We discussed how snaring helps prop up the continued persecution and suffering of our wildlife and animals hunted for ‘sport.’ Snares are routinely used on grouse moors to kill foxes, enabling the practice of killing grouse for pleasure to continue. As we approach the start of the grouse hunting season, the so-called ‘Glorious Twelfth’ is a glaring reminder of this sinister role of snares. Snare Watch Reports Photos from SnareWatch reports In over a decade of SnareWatch reports since its launch, we’ve seen time and time again the prolonged suffering inflicted on animals caught by snares, regardless of regulations. Self-locking snares might be illegal, but even in legal snares, when an animal struggles after capture, the wire can twist and tighten – effectively becoming self-locking, which can lead to strangulation and even death. We’ve seen that snares are indiscrimate, catching mostly non-target species, like dogs, cats, roe deer, and badgers. Our most recent SnareWatch annual report reflects this, documenting some of the worst snaring incidents of 2021 involving a range of target and non-target wildlife, as well as companion and farmed animals. We’ve also seen juveniles and pregnant animals injured and killed in snares. One tragic report from 2015 involved a young hare leveret who was born while her mother was caught and died in a snare. The leveret sadly did not survive either. Cruelty cannot be regulated In 2016, we reviewed the impact of 2011 legislation in our joint report on snaring with the League Against Cruel Sports – Cruel and Indiscrimate: Why Scotland must become snare-free. We concluded that snares have continued to inflict suffering on wild and domestic animals despite the legislation, and that nothing short of a full ban on their sale and use is needed. As our patron and TV presenter and conservationist Chris Packham has pointed out, ‘These snares have no place for use in the 21st century.’ Likewise, as actor Peter Egan recently told us, ‘It is extraordinary that such a cruel instrument of torture is still allowed to be used in our modern society.’ The people of Scotland back a ban on snares The majority of people in Scotland want the Scottish Government to make history and ban snares. Successive polls in 2016 and 2021 have shown that 76% of the public back a ban on their sale and use. (1) Likewise, the consensus among veterinarians is that snares cause widespread suffering and should be banned. Moreover, arguments that snaring can be justified on conservation grounds fall flat. Key government bodies like NatureScot, as well as conservation charities like the Scottish Wildlife Trust, RSPB Scotland and the National Trust for Scotland, do not use snares. An opportunity to make history Last year, the Welsh Government led the way in the UK, by being the first devolved government to commit to introduce legislation on banning snares. Now, the Scottish Government has the chance to be celebrated too, for taking this progressive step for animal welfare. With the Scottish Government currently reviewing the impact of snares, now is our opportunity to send a strong message that snares should be consigned to history. As our Director Bob Elliot says, ‘Antiquated and horribly cruel, snares have absolutely no place in our countryside. Many people cannot believe that snares are still legal. It is quite frankly astonishing that they have not been banned years ago.’ Will you join us on September 17th to call on the Scottish Government to consign snares to history? You can also support this and OneKind’s other work ending cruelty to Scotland’s animals here. All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 1,055 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 6th – 10th November 2020. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all Scotland adults (aged 18+).