What are snares?
Snares are a form of basic trap, consisting of a loop usually made of metal wire. Snares are placed around common routes the desired animal takes and are designed to wrap around a limb, head or body of the animal and tightens around it, entrapping it until the animal is retrieved by the person who set the snare, or the animal dies.
Are snares legal in the UK?
Snares are legal in the UK, we are one of the few countries that still allow the use of snares as they've been banned across the world due to the slow and painful death that animals entrapped in them suffer.
Self-locking snares are banned in the UK, but this means very little in reality when it comes to the welfare of animals caught in them.
Snares must be checked at least once a day, but this is practically very difficult to enforce, so in some circumstances there have been examples of animals being left to suffer for much longer than legally allowed.
It is illegal to snare badgers, as they are a protected species, however snares are indiscriminate in what they catch.
Why are snares so bad?
Snares, and the law surrounding the use of them can be very detrimental to wildlife in the UK. Snares are usually set on private land, far away from any oversight. Snares entrap animals that can struggle to get away, resulting in moral wounds.
The deaths these animals face are long, slow and agonosing. Some animals will die from dehydration if the snares are not properly checked, while others will die from wounds, and if the animal is lucky enough to survive while being snared, the person who sets it will likely come along and kill the animal.
Snared animals can also become easy prey for other predators as snares strip them of their ability to defend themselves, and get away.
Not just wildlife.
Snares can often be found near public footpaths used by dog walkers across the UK, dogs have previously been unfortunate victims of these contraptions. Cats have also been found caught in snares, after being entrapped for long periods of time.
What you can do to help.
There are a multitude of campaigns and petitions to ban snaring in the UK, most of which can be found with a quick google search. You can also donate to the CCW and help us protect and defend wildlife from persecution, including snares.