This afternoon, in a landmark moment, the Scottish Government banned snares.

Under the Wildlife Management and Muirburn (Scotland) Bill, which Parliament just passed, it will become an offence to use a snare to trap a wild animal, or in any way that is likely to injure a wild animal. 

Snares have been used primarily to protect birds such as grouse and pheasants from foxes, so there is a surplus of these birds for people to shoot for 'leisure’. However, snares are indiscriminate and often trap, injure and kill a wide range of non-targeted species including deer, badgers and even companion animals, such as cats and dogs. Snares cause immense physical and psychological harm to any animal caught in them, whether the targeted species or not.  

Scottish animal welfare charity, OneKind, has been campaigning for decades for a snaring ban and strongly welcomes the new legislation. 

OneKind Director, Bob Elliot, said: 

This is a monumental day in Scotland. The Scottish public have made it very clear that they want to see snares consigned to the history books and the Scottish Government has listened. We are delighted that the Scottish Parliament has passed a ban on these archaic traps.

Snares are cruel, archaic traps that originate from a bygone age. Due to their indiscriminate nature, we've received reports over the years from concerned members of the public who have found all types of animals suffering in these devices: wild animals, farmed animals, and companion animals.  

We have heard several times from distraught guardians who have discovered their companion animals dead in snares. This includes the particularly upsetting case of spaniel, Murphy, who tragically lost his life in 2018 after blundering into a snare in Cumbria and a cat who died after being trapped in a snare in a garden in Angus

The distress that has been caused by snare use over the years is unacceptable and we are incredibly relieved that animals will no longer be subjected this mental and physical suffering”.

On the importance of changing attitudes towards wild animals, Bob said: 

An absolute shift in mindset in how we view wild animals - as sentient individuals rather than ‘vermin’ or ‘pests’ - is desperately needed and today’s passing of the Bill is a crucial step in the right direction. Wild animals deserve protection too”. 

OneKind’s Patron, Wildlife TV Presenter and Conservationist, Chris Packham, said: 

"The only thing snares were protecting was the cruellest parts of the shooting industry. Today is a big win for Scotland, for compassion and for common sense, but most importantly a win for our severely declining wildlife. A win I hope to see rapidly extended to England so we can confine this brutal and outdated savagery to the history books where it belongs. Huge thanks to OneKind, a host of other welfare organisations, the Scottish public and ministers - we must all take bolder, unified action to stop the relentless war on nature".

Notes to Editor 

  1. OneKind is Scotland’s leading animal campaigns charity working to end cruelty to Scotland’s animals. OneKind works to expose cruelty and persecution through investigations and research covering Scotland’s wild, farmed and companion animals. Find out more about our work at
  2. 76% of the Scottish public support a snaring ban on the use and sale of snares (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+). 
  3. OneKind’s SnareWatch website can be found here. Images can be used, with credit given to
  4. The Welsh Government passed a ban on the use of snares in 2023.