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Background Info

The aim of this petition is to highlight the widespread public support for a ban on snaring and ultimately to achieve a complete ban on the manufacture, sale, possession and use of all snares in Scotland.  We believe that snares are cruel, indiscriminate traps and it is unacceptable that they are being used to capture and kill Scotland’s animals.

We hope to achieve either primary legislation or else an Order under the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981 (as amended for Scotland by the Nature Conservation (Scotland) Act 2004) prohibiting the manufacture, sale, possession and use of all snares in Scotland.

The reasons for doing so are:

• Snares are cruel and cause terrible suffering
• Snares are indiscriminate traps that catch non-target (including protected wild species, farmed animals and pets) as well as target animals
• Snares are unnecessary
• Scotland is one of only a handful of countries in Europe that still permits the use of snares
• The use of snares in Scotland may be illegal under European conservation legislation

Self-locking snares are banned in Scotland under the Wildlife & Countryside Act
1981. In 2003/4, the Scottish Parliament reviewed some of the legislation regarding snaring in Scotland while considering the Nature Conservation (Scotland) Act. Many individuals and organisations including Advocates and the League called for a total ban on snares. Ministers undertook instead to propose a wide range of technical amendments at a later date. For example, with specific reference to snares, orders under section 11(3E) of the 1981 Act could outlaw “articles of a type” or “circumstances in which articles of that type” are illegal.  We believe that the Act thereby provides powers for Ministers to make an Order banning snares.

The former Scottish Executive issued a consultation paper in November 2006. The consultation offered various options, including a total ban on snares and a set of technical amendments such as identification tags, compulsory use of fixed stops, and a prohibition on drag snares. Advocates and the League submitted separate detailed responses calling first for a complete ban, but also offering views on the amendments if a complete ban was not to be introduced.

The results of the consultation, released in August 2007, showed 70 per cent of a total of 247 responses favoured a total ban. An opinion poll commissioned by the League in 2007 showed that only 19 per cent of people in Scotland were aware that snares are still legal and 75 per cent of people thought they should be banned.