Snares banned in Wales despite threat to vulnerable species

A fox

The Agriculture (Wales) Act will make it illegal to use snares in Wales, despite the potentially disastrous impact on species conservation and livestock protection.

The Act becomes law on 17 October 2023, meaning that from that date it will be illegal to set or use a snare or other cable restraint in Wales.

Wales is the first country to amend the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 to ban the use of snares, including the most modern designs which exceed international standards for restraining devices.

BASC provided comprehensive evidence as to why snares are an essential tool for the management of foxes in areas or at times of year when other methods are impractical or unsafe. 

Despite this, the Welsh government proceeded with a ban, effectively driving vulnerable species such as curlew to extinction in Wales.

Your responsibilities

Although BASC is deeply opposed to a ban on snares in Wales, it is important that everyone abides by the new law. Any person found guilty of using a snare could face imprisonment and/or an unlimited fine.

Steve Griffiths, BASC’s director of Wales said: “It is vital that all snares users retrieve any deployed snares or cable restraints prior to 17 October 2023. We’d appreciated the help of our members in informing their colleagues and friends who may not know about the change as we don’t wish to see anyone on the wrong side of the law.”

BASC will be issuing further advice and guidance to assist members with fox control methods in due course. You can also read more about snares and snaring here.