Scotland follows Wales in banning snares, setting a further example for England to follow

Born Free has warmly welcomed the ban on the use of snares and glue traps in Scotland, which passed into law as part of the Wildlife Management and Muirburn (Scotland) Bill when it completed its final stages in the Scottish Parliament on 21st March.

A photo of a hare standing in a field

The Bill provides a range of measures aimed at improving animal welfare, including:

  • A ban on the practice of snaring in Scotland;
  • A ban on the use of glue traps to catch rodents;
  • Greater powers to Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals inspectors to tackle wildlife crime; 
    A new licensing framework for grouse moors; and
  • Strict regulations of the controlled burning of vegetation on peatland. 

Responding to the news, Born Free’s Head of Policy Dr Mark Jones said: “Snaring and glue traps are cruel and indiscriminate and result in intense animal suffering among hundreds of thousands of target animals, and non-target animals including other wildlife and domestic animals such as dogs and cats. Animals that become trapped in shares often suffer prolonged and painful injuries and deaths. Born Free has long campaigned for a ban on the sale and use of these cruel methods of killing animals and contributed to the public consultation in on the issue in Scotland, so we very much welcome the passage of the Wildlife Management and Muirburn (Scotland) Bill into law.”

The Welsh Senedd introduced a ban on the use of snares and glue traps last Autumn as part of the Agriculture (Wales) Act 2023, and Scotland has now followed suit.
The government in Westminster announced it would launch a ‘call for evidence’ on the use of snares and ‘look to restrict the use of glue traps as a means of pest control’ in its Action Plan for Animal Welfare back in 2021. Yet it ended up relying on a Private Members Bill which passed into law in 2022 restricting the use of glue traps to licenced operators, and has failed to make further progress on banning snares in spite of a government e-petition calling for a ban that accumulated over 100,000 signatures and was debated in Parliament in January 2023.

Dr Jones continued: “We don’t need further consultations or evidence – we know full well that snares are horrendously inhumane and completely unnecessary. It’s high time the Westminster government followed the Welsh and Scottish examples and banned these abhorrent and damaging practices in England.”

Born Free continues to seek an end to the use of snares and other cruel means of wild animal control across the UK.