OneKind launches Snare Watch initiative to measure extent of animal snaring in the UK

Today, animal welfare charity OneKind launched Snare Watch, a new web-based initiative designed to collect information about the use of animal snares in theUK, and the welfare problems caused by these traps. The site also offers people advice on what to do if they find an illegal snare. www.snarewatch.org

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Many animals trapped in snares are often left to die in agony

Snares are wire nooses intended to catch foxes and rabbits but also catch other wild animals including protected species such as badgers, otters and wildcats, farmed animals and even people’s beloved pet cats and dogs. Although designed to immobilise their targets, snares can inflict horrendous injury and in many cases cause an agonising death. In 2005, the report of the UK Independent Working Group on Snaring (IWGS) set the proportion of non target captures between 21% and 69% in theUK. 

Libby Anderson, Policy Director at OneKind, said: OneKind believes that snares are outdated and cruel and should be banned in theUK. Snare Watch has been developed as a focal point for individuals and groups, interested in animal welfare, to gather information about the nature and extent of snaring; and to gauge whether current legislation is working to protect animals as it should. Although we believe that snares cannot be used without causing significant animal suffering, many people, including some politicians, believe that they are necessary and – if not entirely humane – then perhaps the least inhumane option available. Snare Watch is designed to show the truth about how these traps are used.

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Badgers are a protected species but are still being snared illegally

Musician and animal welfare campaigner Brian May is one of those who have been quick to support Snare Watch. He said: In Britain, a country which likes to be known as a nation of animal-lovers, our wild animals are still being shockingly abused.  To change attitudes to these innocent creatures – to put protection in place to safeguard them from cruelty – is a long haul. A prime focus of OneKind’s activity is to bring to an end the despicably cruel practice of setting snares for wild animals – which cause them a slow and appallingly painful death. Thousands of snares are set every year, by land owners who make fortunes from tourists who shoot to kill for fun.  It’s time to put the brakes on this unjustifiable barbarity.

Organisations supporting Snare Watch to date include: Hare Preservation Society, Hessilhead Wildlife Rescue Trust, League Against Cruel Sports, Save-Me and Scottish Badgers.

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This bandger snared on a private shooting estate in Lancashire’s Forest of Bowland

was left to die in total agony.

Libby Anderson adds: There has been very little independent assessment of the extent of snare use and the prevalence and nature of animal suffering. OneKind published new research in 2010, and theUKenvironment department DEFRA also commissioned research in 2008 but we are still awaiting the results. 

OneKind believes that every animal is an individual and if any animal suffers, that matters. To get a more accurate picture of the effect of snaring on the welfare of animals, we need real reports about real incidents, throughout theUK, hence the need for Snare Watch.

An independent opinion poll carried out last year for OneKind found that 77% of people inScotlandthought snaring should be illegal; and a joint survey carried out by OneKind and the League Against Cruel Sports in 2008 found that 75% of vets inScotlandbelieved snaring should end.

Anyone wishing to report a snaring incident or requiring further information about snaring should visit: www.snarewatch.org

11 comments to OneKind launches Snare Watch initiative to measure extent of animal snaring in the UK

  • steve wilson

    Perhaps the sickening destruction of this badger as well as large numbers of protected birds of prey on England’s uplands was what Natural England meant when Dr. Phillips congratulated gamekeepers for maintaining a healthy biodiversity in our countryside? How does Dr. Phillips keep a straight face I wonder?

  • Lazywell

    I don’t understand what this story is doing on this site; what does snaring have to do with Raptor Politics or allegations of raptor persecution? I can only assume it bespeaks a broader hostility towards traditional land management including legal predator control.

    There are of course arguments for and against snaring. Fortunately the Scottish Government at least, having considered a wealth of submissions – scientific, anecdotal and emotive – has acknowledged that when properly practised it is an essential tool in rural management and in turn makes a significant contribution towards biodiversity generally.

    • Tom Wilson

      Fortunately there are many who regularly read the content on this site who would strongly disagree with you. When you are able see appalling images of snared protected animals like this badger I begin to wonder what else the public are not being allowed to see or hear.

      • Coop

        Absolutely Tom.

        Snaring doesn’t contribute a damn thing towards biodiversity. The above is just another example of the bloodsports industry attempting to mislead the public as to its true agenda.

    • Admin

      Raptor Politics finds the recent comment that posting an article associated with animal snaring was inappropriate as somewhat condescending. While we would agree the theme of the story has no direct association with raptors we feel the two go hand in hand as snaring is undertaken by gamekeepers and disappointing gamekeepers continue to persecute protected birds of prey.

      We decided in the public interest that the complete account should published to highlight the illegal side of snaring known to be taking place in the Forest of Bowland that we already know about. As the image of the dead badger demonstrates snaring is totally indiscriminate and causes terrible suffering to any animal caught in this way.

      Apart from the illegal snaring of this particular badger the animal in the image had been left to die remaining in the snare after death for many weeks until the body eventually disappeared.

      Raptor Politics also wished to demonstrate that far from protecting the biodiversity of England’s uplands as recently claimed by Natural England’s Chief Executive together with the Minister for the Environment and Fisheries, many gamekeepers working at the direction of their employer are responsible for destroying the animal biodiversity throughout the moorlands where they work.

      It is no coincidence there were only 4 successful hen harrier breeding attempts in the whole of England’s uplands this year confined to just a single estate. People seem to forget also that for many years the hen harrier has been conspicuous by its absence from 99% of the rest of England’s moorlands used for red grouse shooting. Once again this is not coincidence but has resulted from the harrier’s sustained and direct persecution by gamekeepers.

  • paul williams

    Forest of Bowland Biodiversity = Hen Harriers critical,Peregrine Falcons territories 74% reduction,Fox 0,Badger 0, Stoat + Weasel traps ubiquitous. Squadrons of Red Grouse everywhere. Is this what biodiversity means???

  • gamehawker

    Aimed at the fox it is unfortunate that the odd stripey succumbs to a blown down snare{properly set snare for fox a stripey walks right under them} anyway there numbers are at an all time high and can take the odd accidental capture, far more are culled on britain’s roads ban the car hey… It’s known fact that any moor you walk upon that has active pest control will be alive with red grouse,black grouse,ring ouzel,dottrel,curlew,wheater,lapwing,golden plover,meadow pipits,twite and countless more little brown jobbys,oh yes and beautiful raptors inc peregrine {many ground nesting thanks to good fox control including snaring} buzzard,Merlin,kestrel long eared owl,and yes harriers can all be seen,so like it or not the lentil sucking tree hugging brigade who have a gripe with FIELDSPORTS should be thankful someone is going out there and looking after ALL the biodiversity of our uplands rather than bitching about it.

    • Coop

      It seems you’re very big on “known facts” pal. When, in FACT, your posts contain about as much fact as a Sun editorial. How about referring to Red-faced, inbred, flat hatted, tattershall checked, green wellied degenerates!

  • paul williams

    Improperly set snares!!! now there’s poor journalism for someone praising gamekeepers.

  • Admin

    To Gamehawker, sorry pal we are unable to publish your latest comment as the Vocabulary and content used appears inappropriate to this moderated web site.

    By all means re-phrase some of your words and we will take another look. Swearing and using personal attacks to make your point is NOT allowed here.

  • gamehawker

    re-phrase some of your words and we will take another look. Swearing and using personal attacks to make your point is NOT allowed here.

    Well dont you think you should also ask the eejit coop to re-phrase his above post or is it ok to make an assumption and call people inbred and degenerates degenerate ???