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IN CONTEMPT: British government rejects call to ban wildlife-killing snares in England, against public’s wishes

Animals don’t tend to just sit motionless when they find themselves trapped in snares. Caught foxes are frequently found to have deep wounds as the wire cuts into their flesh.

TRACY KEELING: Parliamentarians debated whether to ban wildlife-killing snares on 9 January. As MPs pointed out during the session, there’s widespread approval among the British public that the government should prohibit the devices. Indeed, the debate happened because a petition on banning snares reached the 100,000 signature threshold that can trigger parliamentary discussions.

Nonetheless, the government rejected the demand to take action. The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs’ Trudy Harrison merely promised to “keep an open mind” about bringing in restrictions in England in the future… The idea of a ban had widespread support among the MPs in the debate. As Conservative MP Nick Fletcher, who led the debate, summarised at the end of the session, support for the ban outweighed opposition by a ratio of 3:1…

In the government’s contribution to the debate, Harrison – DEFRA’s parliamentary under-secretary – noted the trend elsewhere in the UK to prohibit snares. Wales is on course to bring in a ban, and relevant developments in Scotland suggest it could also do so soon. Harrison said that the government would “observe” how these devolved administrations implement changes and improve the DEFRA website’s guidelines on the use of snares. However, the under-secretary gave no commitments to banning snares in England anytime soon…

The petition that triggered the debate called for a ban on the sale, use, and manufacture of so-called ‘free-running snares’. These are restraining devices with a wire loop that relaxes when a wild animal trapped in them stops pulling. Needless to say, wild animals don’t tend to just sit motionless when they find themselves trapped in wire. So, as Surge Activism has explained, the devices: ’cause serious stress, injury, and sometimes death to animals. Caught foxes are frequently found to have deep wounds in their necks as the wire cuts into their flesh’.

Moreover, people – such as farmers and shooting industry workers – set the snares for certain species, such as foxes and rabbits. However, many other species find themselves trapped in them. According to a 2012 study by the government, only around a quarter of the animals found in snares are the intended targets. SOURCE…


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