A workshop run to encourage uptake of the Welsh Government’s new Code of best practice on the use of snares in fox control saw a big turnout of around 70 delegates attend from right across Wales. The take home message from the event was an unequivocal “Use the code or lose the fox snare”, the no nonsense slogan adopted by a coalition of rural groups working to promote the importance of the 10-page bilingual leaflet in securing the future of fox snaring in Wales. Similar workshops will be rolled out across Wales in due course.

The organisations backing the “Use the code or lose the fox snare” slogan include: the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust, the National Gamekeepers’ Organisation, the Countryside Alliance, the Farmers’ Union of Wales and NFU Cymru.

The Welsh Government published its 10-page bilingual booklet Code of best practice on the use of snares in fox control last September. Copies are available either online from the Welsh Government website at http://po.st/welshsnare or from the organisations that delivered the workshop.

The modern fox snare, correctly set, meets the stringent requirements of the Agreement on International Humane Trapping Standards. Fox snaring has a proven track record of securing species’ diversity in Wales, including conserving endangered birds like black grouse, curlew and lapwing, as well as safeguarding young stock.

At the event, Dr Mike Swan from the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust explained the “200 man years of science” behind the hi-tech snare and the welfare benefits it brings to fox control. Director for the Countryside Alliance in Wales, Rachel Evans, told of the political realities facing snaring at the Welsh Assembly, and why the code must be taken up by snare users. Dr David Butler from Perdix®, the manufacturer of the DB Snare, a modern code-compliant fox snare, explained the precision engineering involved in its development. David Pooler, the North Wales Chairman of the National Gamekeepers’ Organisation, gave a keeper’s perspective on the snare’s role in conservation and how it protects livestock.

The 70-strong audience comprised a cross-section of stakeholder groups involved with fox snaring. Among those the workshop reached out to were: professional and amateur gamekeepers, farmers, landowners, conservationists, police wildlife officers, agricultural college students and sporting shooting interests such as BASC. Those present were left in no doubt as to the reasons why sticking rigidly to the letter of the new best practice fox snaring code is so important.

The workshop took place at Rhug Estate, Corwen, Denbighshire, and was hosted by David Pooler, the National Gamekeepers’ Organisation North Wales Chairman.

Notes to Editors
For more information please contact Rachel Evans on [email protected]