Stronger action needed to regulate use of snares in Wales, says Assembly committee
Stronger action is needed to curb the unregulated use of snares in Wales, according to a National Assembly committee.
The Climate Change, Environment and Rural Affairs Committee found that the code of best practice on the uses of snares in fox control published by the Welsh Government is, in many cases, not being enforced, and that there is little evidence to show that it is working.
The Committee was told that self-locking snares are banned for welfare reasons as they are designed to tighten as an animal pulls, whilst free-running snares are designed to loosen. However, they are very indiscriminate and capture many animals which are not pests including badgers and domestic pets. Importantly, not enough is known about how many and what type of animals are being caught in snares.
“Snaring is a method of pest control that poses a risk to the welfare of target and non-target species,” said Mike Hedges AM, Chair of the Climate Change, Environment and Rural Affairs Committee.
“We support the Welsh Government, and others, in their efforts to encourage careful use of snares as a last resort, principally through the implementation of the ‘code of best practice on the use of snares in fox control’.
“Given the risk to animal welfare, we believe it is essential that every effort is made to ensure that Welsh Government policy in this area is supported by robust evidence.
“This inquiry has shown us that there are considerable gaps in the data available to understand the scale, efficacy, and humaneness of snare-use in Wales.”
The Committee has made the following recommendations:
- The Welsh Government should undertake an annual review of its code and publish a report of that review;
- If the annual review of the code shows that it is not working then the Welsh Government should introduce sanctions for non-compliance with the code; and
- If evidence shows the voluntary approach has not succeeded, that the Welsh Government should consider preparing draft legislation to ban the use of snares.
The report will now be considered by the Welsh Government.
Read the full report:
Report on the use of snares in Wales