Despite significant pressure from animal rights pressure groups such as The League Against Cruel Sports and OneKind to ban the use of snares, Scotland’s Environment Secretary Rosanna Cunningham confirmed that legislation put in place in 2011 is working satisfactorily.

A five year review conducted by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) has found that snaring related incidents have reduced following the 2011 changes in the law.

Welcoming the report Cabinet Secretary for the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Roseanna 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. We 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.”

Scottish Countryside Alliance Director Jamie Stewart said: “We are obviously pleased to read that the training of operatives in the use of snaring has contributed to falling numbers of cases involving the misuse of snares. Used by trained operatives snares provide an effective means of controlling foxes and rabbits. As an approved organisation, the Scottish Countryside Alliance emphasises the need for anyone considering using snares to seek the appropriate training.

“We now look forward to working with the Scottish Government and stakeholders to develop an up to date Code of Practice.”

Recommendations to improve snaring practices.

A report has found that snaring related incidents have reduced while making recommendations for further improvements in the law.

The new proposals seek to further refine snaring practices, which will mostly be delivered through the Snaring Code of Practice. These include:

  • Implement a time period for updating snare records and reduce the time allowed for producing records to the police
  • Introduce the power of disqualification for a snaring offence
  • Changes to fox snares including enlarging the noose size to 26cm and increase the number of swivels to a minimum of two
  • Consider how a strengthened Code of Practice can be better endorsed through legislation