OneKind Director uncovers snare and stink pit on Scottish shooting estate

Having campaigned for years for a full ban on snares in Scotland, we’ve unfortunately seen scores of horrific images and reports of animals suffering in these cruel traps through our reporting tool, Snarewatch.

It’s important to remember that each and every one of these individuals matter and should be protected from this cruelty. Any animal left severely wounded and distressed for hours on end in a snare is unacceptable.

The inherent cruelty of these traps is especially driven home to us when we on the OneKind team have in-person encounters with snares and witness the suffering they unleash with our own eyes.

OneKind Director finds snare and stink pit

Recently, OneKind Director Bob Elliot had this experience when he uncovered a snare and stink pit on a shooting estate in the Scottish Borders, having been alerted to their presence by a supporter. Sadly, he also found the remains of a dead fox nearby, who likely had been victim to these barbaric devices.

Here, Bob explains how these traps are used together to cruelly lure and ensnare animals.

As Bob explains, a stink pit consists of a midden or ‘heap’ of dead animal bodies placed near a snare. The smell of the stink pit is used to lure foxes towards the snare and trap them. This use of a snare and stink pit here is sadly still completely legal in Scotland.

Regulation is not enough

Snared fox

As we’ve discussed previously, merely placing further regulations on snaring will not end the suffering caused by these cruel traps. Nothing short of a full ban is needed to protect foxes and other animals from this suffering.

Reports of animals suffering in legal snares have shown that previous regulations have failed - snares are inherently cruel and indiscriminate.

Animals tend to struggle to escape when ensnared, often leading to painful wounds and in some cases strangulation, regardless of the snare having the legally required stop or not.

Individuals are also often caught by their leg or abdomen, leading to deep wounds as legal snares can tighten as far as the circumference of an animal’s neck. Snares can also legally go unchecked for up to 24 hours, an extremely long time for an animal to be distressed and potentially severely injured.

We’ve also discussed how snares are inherently indiscriminate, trapping not only the intended targets, foxes and rabbits, but also animals like badgers, deer, sheep, dogs and cats.

How you can help

1. Respond to the Scottish Government’s consultation

The Scottish Government recently opened up a new consultation on proposals to change certain wildlife ‘management’ practices. The main proposal is to license grouse shooting, but additional proposals include further regulation of snares and other traps, as well as a ban on glue traps.

This call for views is an opportunity for as many of us as possible to urge for a full ban on snares and other cruel traps, and send a strong message that regulation is not enough to protect animals from suffering.

We’ve set up this useful guide to make it as easy as possible for supporters to respond to the consultation in the most effective way possible to achieve change. We’ll also be submitting our own response, alongside other organisations.

2. Send a letter to Minister for Environment and Land Reform, Màiri McAllan

Since launching our letter-writing action, over 1,600 of you so far have contacted the Minister, urging for a full ban on snares!

We’ve set up a handy template you can use to send a letter in just a few moments. Every voice counts in helping us send the strongest possible message in support of a full snaring ban.

3. Support our campaign work

People holding placards marching down the Royal Mile at the March for The Foxes

We were overwhelmed by your generous support for our recent Autumn appeal to ban snares, which raised an amazing £10,000! Thank you to all who donated and help us continue campaigning to consign snares to history.

Your support helped us to launch our letter-writing action and create a powerful day of action to ban snares and fox hunting at our recent March For The Foxes.

If you’d like to support ongoing work like this, you can do so here.