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Majority of SnareWatch cases are unintended victims

Date posted: 28 Jul 2015

In just a couple of weeks the grouse season opens with a traditional ‘celebration’ known as the Glorious Twelfth.

The grouse shooting season is far from glorious, but that’s another story altogether... Back to snaring and land managers, keen to see large quantities of valuable game birds ripe for shooting by paying guns means snares are rife around the countryside.  With this, sadly comes a huge amount of suffering both by the intended victims of snares – foxes – and unintended victims, which can be anything from domestic cats and dogs to badgers, otters and livestock.

OneKind runs SnareWatch, a dedicated website where members of the public can report snaring incidents or any concerns they have about snares to help us build up a picture of snaring activity in the UK. OneKind has recently revealed that 71 per cent of all reports made so far this year to SnareWatch have involved non-target species. This means that the vast majority of incidents in the last seven months have involved animals which are not the intended victim of a snare with the predominant species being cats and badgers. This grim illustration shows quite how indiscriminate snares are and highlights the scale of the problem with their continued use.

For many years OneKind has campaigned for a ban on snaring and is renewing this call ahead of the Glorious Twelfth. The shooting industry relies heavily on snares to protect stocks of game birds yielded for commercial shooting and it is utterly demoralising to see report after report come in through SnareWatch giving horrific details of animals which have suffered as a result of these primitive and unnecessary traps.

Despite a tightening of regulations in Scotland the suffering still continues and will keep doing so until snaring is finally banned. Provisions were made in the Wildlife and Natural Environment (Scotland) Act 2011 for a review of snaring regulations in December 2016. OneKind will be using this opportunity to show that the regulations, however well intentioned, are not eradicating the suffering. You can help our campaign by reporting any incidents of snaring or concerns you have about snaring activity to SnareWatch. Alternatively, you can donate to help fund our campaign work to ultimately see an end the use of snares once and for all. 

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