Despite increased regulation, snares for foxes, rabbits, weasels and hares are still legal in Scotland and still cause immense suffering.
Small carnivores such as foxes are mostly trapped by gamekeepers, as they are deemed a threat to the grouse and pheasant reared for shooting. Even if used completely legally, and this itself is almost impossible to enforce, snares can cause long and painful deaths, and not always to the target species. Legally, an animal can be suffering in a snare for 24 hours before it is put out of its misery. It is not known how many snares are not checked nearly so frequently.
Snares are also impossible to make species-specific. A snare set for a rabbit can as easily catch the threatened brown hare. Reports of snares catching and injuring or killing pets still come in.
This unnecessary cruelty has to stop and increased regulation on snares is not the answer. It is time Scotland banned their use altogether.
We the undersigned ask that you introduce a ban on the use of snares. Even if used completely legally, snares are still unnecessarily cruel, causing suffering to Scotland's wildlife.
When animals such as rabbits become a genuine nuisance, there are far more humane ways of killing them than snares. The 2010 increased regulations on snaring have proved ineffective and very difficult to enforce. Snares are also impossible to make species-specific. A snare set for a rabbit can as easily catch the now threatened brown hare or even somebody's pet.
With a majority of both vets and the general public wanting a complete ban, it is time the Scottish Government paid attention. Powerful as the game industry might be, it is not an excuse for persecuting wildlife in this manner.
We ask that Scotland continues to take a lead on animal welfare and bans this outdated practice.
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