Tuesday 1 June 2021

Snares are injuring or killing outside domestic cats

Snares are legal in the UK. Farmers and landowners swear by them, considering them to be a "necessary and humane means of controlling foxes which kill a range of vulnerable and rare birds as well livestock". A spokesperson for the Moorland Association which represents landowners said that they follow a code of best practice which goes beyond the law to ensure "the highest animal welfare".

Domestic cats at risk of being snared by farmer
Outside cats are at risk or being harmed or killed by farmer's snares put down to kill foxes. Image by Richard Revel from Pixabay

It is hard to imagine how that statement can be believed when non-targeted animals are inhumanely killed by snares. Also, without doubt, killing foxes in this way is inhumane. We know that farmers have to make a living but do they have to be cruel to animals to achieve that objective?

An animal welfare charity, Animal Aid, is at the forefront of a campaign to ban snares. They argue that in the Queen's speech, at the opening of Parliament, the government promised to address animal welfare issues and to set the highest standards of animal welfare but it is allowing the use of snares which cause indiscriminate killing of both domestic and wild animals.

Once an animal is caught in a snare the wire cats into the flesh causing acute pain. There are even stories of animals biting off their own limbs to be released. A campaigning group, Moorland Monitors say that they see the cruelty first hand both to pets and wildlife.

In 2016, The Mirror newspaper reports that a majority of UK members of Parliament voted to ban the manufacture, possession and sale and use of snares. But the country opted for a voluntary code which states that snares must be inspected daily and animals caught in them should be killed humanely. This code of practice appears not to be followed and not to have protected innocent animals caught up in this objectionable practice which includes wondering domestic cats allowed outside.

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