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Question for Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

UIN 185443, tabled on 21 April 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the potential merits of banning the use of snares in the UK.

Answered on

26 April 2021

We are aware of the concerns around the use of snares, which can cause immense suffering to both target and non-target animals. It is an issue we are looking at closely as part of our continued drive to maintain the highest animal welfare standards in the world.

Anyone using snares has a responsibility under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 to act within the law to ensure their activities do not harm protected species or cause any unnecessary suffering.

The Government has no current plans to ban the use of all animal snares. Snares are controlled in England and Wales under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. This already prohibits the use of self-locking snares and the setting of any type of snare in places where they are likely to catch certain non-target animals such as badgers. It also requires snares to be inspected on a daily basis.

When practised to a high standard, and in accordance with the law, snaring can offer an effective means to reduce the harmful impacts of foxes on livestock, game and wildlife.

The code of practice for the use of snares to control foxes in England can be found at https://basc.org.uk/cop/snares-for-fox-control-in-england/. This code is designed and owned by the sector, rather than Government. It sets out clear principles for the legal and humane use of snares, using evidence from snare use research to improve snare deployment and design.

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