Scottish Government should consider Code of Practice on snaring, says Scottish Natural Heritage

Written by Liam Kirkaldy on 15 March 2017 in News

But the Scottish Greens back calls from the League Against Cruel Sports Scotland and OneKind for an outright ban on snares

Fox - photo credit: Pixabay

A new report from Scottish Natural Heritage has recommended the Scottish Government consider how a code of practice on snaring can be better endorsed through legislation.

The report, which found that snaring related incidents have reduced, also recommends implementing a time period for updating snare records and reducing the time allowed for producing records to the police, introducing the power of disqualification for a snaring offence, and enlarging the noose size on fox snares.

Cabinet Secretary for the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Roseanna Cunningham promised the Scottish Government will consider the proposed changes to legislation and ask Scottish Natural Heritage to take forward work to revise the code of practice in line with the recommendations in the review.


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But the Scottish Greens questioned the recommendations, with the party backing calls from the League Against Cruel Sports Scotland and OneKind for an outright ban on snares.

Green MSP Mark Ruskell said: “This review does nothing other than maintain outdated and inhumane traditions. We need to be moving from a regulatory regime to an outright ban in the interests of animal welfare.

“Today's response from Scottish Ministers appears to be yet another decision where they have listening more to organisations that want to persecute animals than those who have their welfare at heart."

Alison Johnstone MSP, vice-convener of Holyrood's cross-party group on animal welfare, added: “Snaring causes indiscriminate killing and is hard to monitor. Banning it outright would mean no need for this flawed and barbaric practice. Scottish Ministers must rethink their response.”

Cunningham said: “The review has highlighted that the legislative changes made to snaring regulations in 2011 appear to be working satisfactorily. However, I recognise there is room for further improvement in line with the findings of the review.”

Robbie Marsland, Director of the League Against Cruel Sports, Scotland said: “Since the snaring regulations were introduced over five years ago animals have continued to endure needless suffering as a result of cruel and indiscriminate traps. This review was never going to resolve the problem, it was, sadly, a wasted opportunity.  Regulations are not a workable solution for something as crude and barbaric as a snare. In short, you can't regulate cruelty.

“We have long argued that a ban is the only way to eradicate the problems associated with snaring. We will now step up our campaign to convince the Scottish Government to take the common sense approach and ban the manufacture, sale, possession and use of all snares once and for all.”

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