Hundreds of people in Scotland have backed a complete ban on the use of snares, according to a study.

Three quarters of people surveyed by the League Against Cruel Sports said they wanted the traps outlawed.

The organisation polled 1,036 people and has published its findings to coincide with a Scottish Executive consultation on the use of snares.

Hunting and conservation groups have also taken part in the consultation which ends on Wednesday.

The survey also showed only 19% of poll participants were aware the use of snares was still legal in Scotland, with most people believing they had already been banned.

Louise Robertson, the League Against Cruel Sports’ Scotland campaigner, said: “These latest figures are really no surprise as I am well aware of the strength of feeling among Scots on the issue of snares.

“I am confident the figures will ensure the executive sits up and does what the overwhelming majority of voters wants – a total ban on snares.”

The British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC) has previously warned that plans to add identification tags to each snare would not prevent anti-snaring campaigners from copying tags and illegally setting snares.

It is currently an offence to use a snare in a manner which is calculated to cause unnecessary suffering.

The devices must also be inspected at least once a day and any animals who are caught released or removed.

A Scottish Executive spokesman said: “The Scottish Executive is committed to protecting Scotland’s rich and diverse wildlife and ensuring that our wild animals are treated humanely.

“The use of snares to trap wild animals is an emotive subject and I know a lot of people feel very strongly about how it should be regulated.

“We will analyse all consultation responses before taking decisions on the way forward.”

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