Future of threatened species in Wales put at risk by snares ban, says BASC

A fox

The future of some of Wales’ most threatened species is being put at risk to appease public perception, according to BASC.

The comments were made following the publication of the Economy, Trade and Rural Affairs Committee’s report on the Agriculture (Wales) Bill which saw the majority of the committee’s members vote for the prohibition of all snares in Wales.

The committee concluded that:

“A clear majority of committee members are persuaded by the evidence supporting a total ban on snares. However two members noted that a blanket ban removes any opportunity to use snares as a method of predator control for species restoration, including projects funded by Welsh Government.”

BASC Wales director Steve Griffiths said: “Although it is disappointing that most of the committee members ignored the evidence put forward by BASC and other rural organisations, to have two members supporting a regulated licensing approach is a positive step moving forward to the next stage.

“The use of the most modern snare designs, known as humane cable restraints, in accordance the Welsh Government’s own code of best practice meets international standards. As such, these devices have an important role to play in land management and the conservation of ground-nesting birds.”

Countering the full ban on snares, BASC has proposed a solution of legislating against the use of non-code compliant snares while allowing the continued use of code-compliant snares alongside regulated training measures.

Mr Griffiths continued: “It is unacceptable to risk some of our most threatened species with an outright ban on snares, based on outdated and unsubstantiated evidence and public perception.

“BASC will continue to make representation at every stage of the Bill to ensure the right decision is made for the conservation of our most threatened species.”