BASC has warned against an emotive and inaccurate campaign by the League Against Cruel Sports to ban snares, an important tool for conservation and food security.
Snares are a well-regulated widely-used tool for catching and managing pest species in the countryside in situations where other methods would be impractical or ineffective. Modern snares are not designed to kill but to restrain, they have several built in design features such as stops, swivels and breakaway links to ensure animal welfare. The League knows this but fails to mention any of the regulation and animal welfare measures associated with modern snaring in their briefing to parliamentarians, whom they seek to mislead.
As the police have said in Scotland “fox and rabbit control is necessary to ensure that damage to crops, livestock, trees, game and other wildlife and their habitats can be reduced to acceptable levels to maintain Scotland’s unique rural biodiversity. Snaring is a vital tool to achieve these ends”.
Predation on ground nesting birds and other vulnerable species can be significantly reduced to their benefit by management programmes which include snaring. Crop damage and consequent price increases for food can be addressed by snaring the species causing the damage. From the Krebs badger trials to snow leopards in the Himalayas snaring is the scientific method of choice for live capture without harming the animal. The League knows that there are scientific studies underpinning all this but chooses not to mention them in a deliberate attempt to deceive their audience by playing on their emotions.
Tim Russell, Director of Conservation at BASC, said: “The League should stop compromising livelihoods, food security and the biodiversity of the countryside. Their campaign against snaring involves deception on an industrial scale.
“We are always happy to take people out to show them the reality of snaring rather than the League’s deliberate misrepresentation of what actually happens on the ground – that offer still stands, even for the League.”