BASC has welcomed the NI Assembly Environment Committee decision to approve the draft Snares Order (Northern Ireland) 2016.
The order and accompanying code of practice were drafted by the Northern Ireland Snaring Working Group, which is chaired by BASC and included Countryside Alliance Ireland and Ulster Farmers’ Union representatives.
The group worked with departmental officials to ensure workable recommendations which would significantly increase animal welfare standards.
Speaking after the Agriculture Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) Committee meeting, BASC NI director Tommy Mayne said: “BASC commends the Minister, the Committee and the department for their pragmatic approach to what some people might consider to be an emotive issue.
“Snares are a necessary and effective countryside management tool used by conservationists, farmers, gamekeepers and land managers to prevent predation by foxes. Foxes not only kill threatened species of ground nesting birds, such as curlew and lapwing, but also gamebirds and domestic poultry.”
Oliver McCullough, a BASC council member, said: “BASC has worked extremely hard on this issue and we believe the draft order and code provide an effective balance for the humane treatment of animals and the practical needs of good land management.
“Organisations opposed to the use of snares have publicly claimed they cause injuries to thousands of animals each year in Northern Ireland. BASC has previously been in contact with both the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) and the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) and when asked, neither organisation could produce the evidence to support such claims.”
It is expected that the issue will be debated in the Assembly early next year and BASC will continue to work with the department and partner organisations to ensure the draft order is passed into legislation.