SnareWatch

If you have any concerns about the use of snares, anywhere in the UK, you can share them with us on the SnareWatch website.

You can tell us if your pet was caught in a snare, report findings of animals trapped in snares, raise concerns about possible illegal misuse of snares or simply let us know if you’re worried about snares you have seen in a particular area.

OneKind has long campaigned for a complete ban on the sale, use and manufacture of snares. Gamekeepers routinely use these cruel traps and tens of thousands of animals have been killed on Scotland’s grouse moors alone.

A lamb being freed from a snare by a passer-by.

Although set for specific targeted species, snares are indiscriminate and farmed, companion and ‘non-target' wild animals can all become victims of snares. Snares inflict incredible mental and physical suffering on the animals caught in them.

A snare is a simple anchored noose that is designed (in the UK) to trap an animal around the neck but may end up on other body parts such as the abdomen. In addition to the physical suffering and considerable mental distress caused, some animals attempt to chew through the wire, damaging their mouths and fraying the wire so that the snare tangles and can cause further injury. If caught around the abdomen instead of the neck, the animal may suffer deep wounds and internal organ damage.

Fox caught in snare with severe abdomen injuries.

There are certain legally required design features to try to prevent the worst suffering but OneKind repeatedly receives reports of animals suffering, and dying, in such snares. No design alteration can make snares humane; they are inherently harmful.

Under current legislation, snares must be checked every 24 hours, but this can be an inconceivably long time for an animal to be trapped, in a state of panic, and potentially horrifically injured. The animal will be exposed to weather elements and at risk of attack by another animal and may suffer from hunger and thirst.

Not only does the trapped animal suffer, but any dependant young will be deprived of the nutrients and care needed from their parent.

Dog looking at set snare

Through SnareWatch, OneKind has received hundreds of reports of animals being trapped in snares. Many have died from horrific injuries; foxes, rabbits, deer, badgers, otters and a variety of birds have been victims of these lethal contraptions. Sheep and horses have been snared, beloved companion animals have died, and we have received dozens of reports of cats and dogs suffering immensely in these cruel traps.

OneKind believes snares should be banned across the UK and have campaigned for this over many years. We have received support for our campaign from many politicians, vets, other animal welfare groups, conservationists, and naturalists.

The Welsh Government has recently banned the use of snares and the Scottish Government is proposing to do the same. We will continue to work until a full ban is in place. Do your bit to ban cruel snares – sign up to our email list to discover the ways in which you can help and to be first to hear about further progress and updates.

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Below we have featured some of the support we have received over the years.

OneKind's Patron, Wildlife TV presenter Chris Packham, called for a ban on snares in 2022:


In the same year, actor and animal advocate Peter Egan also called for a ban:


In 2011 TV presenter and naturalist Bill Oddie fronted OneKind's anti-snaring film 'Snares Uncovered - Killers in the Countryside':


In 2008, Brian May, Joanna Lumley and Annette Crosbie helped the OneKind (then Advocates for Animals) campaign by writing to the Scottish Government urging them to ban snares:

Brian May Queen guitarist

"As somebody who cares about the welfare of animals I do not believe that people should be allowed to use these primitive traps to catch animals.

"I understand that in addition to the intended foxes and rabbits, other wild animals, including protected species such a badgers, otters and mountain hares are also caught in these unselective traps. In addition, peoples’ pet cats and dogs are caught and killed in snares.

"Surely this treatment of animals is totally unacceptable in the 21st century. Nothing other than a complete ban on all snares will end this animal cruelty.

"I am not surprised that, like me, the vast majority of the public want to see snares banned. The continued use of snares is surely not consistent with a compassionate society.

"Scotland is in a unique situation where it can lead the way for the rest of the UK. I urge the Scottish Government to act now to ban snares and bring an end to this needless animal suffering”.


Joanna Lumley actress

"As an animal lover I wholeheartedly agree with the majority of people who would like to see an end to these cruel traps.

"Snares are primitive traps consisting of a noose of wire. They are intended to catch so-called pests such as foxes and rabbits by trapping them around the neck. However they can cause terrible injuries and a painful slow death.

"Not only are snares cruel but they are also totally unselective. Other wild animals, including protected species such as badgers, otters and mountain hares get caught in snares. If this were not bad enough, snares also catch and kill people’s pet cats and dogs. Surely this treatment of animals is totally unacceptable in a civilised country in the 21st century. Nothing other than a complete ban on all snares will end this unnecessary suffering.

"It is not surprising that they are no longer allowed in most other EU member states.

"I understand that you are shortly to make an announcement on the Government’s intention on snaring. I urge you to please ensure that all snares are banned. Scotland is in a unique situation where it can lead the way for the rest of the UK on this important animal welfare issue”.


Annette Crosbie actress

"It sickens me that animals are being subjected to horrendous injuries and painful deaths which could be avoided if the Scottish Government chooses to implement the necessary legislation. Nothing but a complete ban on snares will end this suffering. Snares have no place in a modern, decent society and I only hope the Government will see sense and rid Scotland of these cruel, archaic devices”.