Snares in Europe – Research by Eurogroup for Animal Welfare

We have so far received answers from 8 countries: Denmark, UK, Spain, Estonia, Hungary, Czech Republic, Malta, Poland and Latvia.

Here is a compilation of the answers:

The use of snares as a trapping method is prohibited in Estonia, Denmark, and Hungary. In Estonia, the hunting law of 2002 stipulates that snares may not be used at all. Denmark’s legislation prohibits the use of any kind of snare. In Hungary, the 1996 act, under article 55, bans the use of snares. However, snares have been banned for the past 30 years because they are considered to be fatal traps.

There are several countries where the use of snares is permitted under certain circumstances. These countries include Spain, Poland, and the Czech Republic.

Spain abides by the EU habitats directive concerning the use of snares. Although permission can be granted, very few people ever try to obtain authorisations to use non-selective trapping methods.

Earlier this year, Poland passed the Nature protection act, which bans the use of snares for ‘animals under the partial species protection’ and ‘game animals.’ The minister of environment does have the authority to allow the use of snares, but does so in most cases only for the capture of protected animals for scientific research.

The Czech Republic passed the AP act, which stipulates that the use of wire snares is prohibited. However, there is no law against other types of snares.

The use of snares as a trapping method is permitted in Malta and Latvia. The use of snares is not common in Malta, but it is not illegal either. In Latvia, there is no law that prohibits the use of trapping of any kind. These matters are left to the ministry of forestry, who controls all legislation concerning hunting methods.

Concerning the second part of your question, I only received the information from Denmark, which say that ‘when you talk about regulating wild life to protect crops, farm animals and buildings only guns and traps that do not harm the animals are allowed’. I still have to ask Estonia and Hungary how they control ‘pests’.

I hope this information is useful.

Best regards,


Vironique Schmit
Policy Officer
Eurogroup for Animal Welfare
6 rue des Patriotes
1000 Brussels
Tel. 32 2 740 08 20
Fax 32 2 740 08 29