Monday 20 December 2021

Snares are still legal in the UK and they are "antiquated and cruel"

Chris Packham describes snares as "antiquated, cruel and hideous". They are still legal in the UK and the Countryside Alliance say that they are useful in wildlife conservation. Packham says that snared animals "die of starvation, they die of dehydration, they die in excruciating pain, often they break their limbs". The Countryside Alliance insists that they should stay as part of the management of the countryside in the UK.

Snares are still legal in the UK and they are "antiquated and cruel"
Snares are still legal in the UK and they are "antiquated and cruel". Photo in public domain.

The Countryside Alliance, in a statement, said: "Snares benefit conservation and a range of economic activities from shooting and agriculture to forestry and eco-tourism. There is often no practical and effective replacement for snaring at crucial times of the year to protect livestock and wildlife, particularly during spring and summer. Well-designed snares, used properly, are a humane and effective form of fox control."

An Animal Aid petition supported by Downton Abbey actor Peter Egan is online presently. Mr Egan said: "The snares are just absolutely horrible and they are indiscriminate. Whether it be a fox or any animal that gets caught in it, often domestic companion animals. It's so cruel."

Mr Egan is a well-known animal advocate. And Chris Packham made the point that if a small animal is trapped in a snare they become a prey animal to a larger predator so they are killed and eaten. The important issue for pet owners is that sometimes cats and dogs get caught in them. The Head of Campaigns at Animal Aid, Jessamy Korotoga, said that many people can't believe that they are still legal.

The problem with snares is that they are indiscriminate. Any animal that wanders into them and gets caught by them is killed cruelly.

Comment: personally, I hate them and I dislike the attitude of the Countryside Alliance who blithely state that they improve wildlife conservation while ignoring the pain they cause animals. They treat foxes as pests and accept that they're going to feel pain and die of starvation. They don't find any problem in that at all. And yet foxes are wildlife like any other creature with a right to survive. The Countryside Alliance practices speciesism which means they favour certain animals over others. This I think is inherently incorrect and unfair.

Chris Packham says that snares should be banned and they are banned throughout most of Europe. It's remarkable that the UK is behind mainland Europe in this regard. We have, at the centre of government, Carrie Johnson, the wife of the Prime Minister, who is a strong animal advocate. She is behind the introduction of current animal welfare legislation with the assistance of Lord Goldsmith, a friend of hers. In other words, the UK is strengthening its animal welfare laws. Why, therefore, is the dreaded and barbaric snare being omitted from these improvements in British legislation?

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