Report exposes Defra's Code of Practice sham
20 March 2012
The National Anti Snaring Campaign condemns the weak "recommendations" of the report commissioned by DEFRA after it finds much of the current snares are unlikely to meet the requirements of the Agreement on International Humane Trapping Standards (AIHTS).
DETERMINING THE EXTENT OF USE AND HUMANENESS OF SNARES IN ENGLAND AND WALES
In 2004 public pressure caused by two petitions by the NASC and other animal welfare groups forced the government to form the Independent Working Group on Snares (IWGS); despite its name it's predominately a group with vested interests in the shooting industry. The main outcome was the development of a weak Code of Good Snaring Practice and recommendations of further research – hence the latest report.
Synopsis of the latest report:
The report is wordy with academic jargon and pointless statistics. However, in a nutshell it makes it clear that:
1. None of those surveyed by field visits were compliant with Defra's 2005 Code of Practice and animals were being injured. Underlining the Code of Practice is worthless as we stated in 2005.
2. Injuries and deaths to non targets from one main commercially available snare made it unlikely to meet the requirements of the AIHTS for restraining devices, and badgers were critically injured in snares.
3. In telephone interviews, 53% of rabbit snare users intended the snare to kill any captured animal, and when joining three professional snare operators, more than 20% of rabbits were dead in the snares visited. It is therefore highly unlikely rabbit snares meet the requirements of the AIHTS.
However, despite exposing that the UK does not meet its obligations for International Humane Trapping Standards, the report ONLY recommends revising Defra's Code of Practice, promoting greater education on snare use, and encouraging manufacturers to produce more humane snares.
While academics, including those at the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust have pocketed £225,000 to produce such weak recommendations, wildlife will continue to suffer at the hands of snares. While they sit down tonight with a fatter wallet, and wallowing in home comforts, this is the reality of snaring today:
The badger above was found by Suffolk Badger Group in March 2012, still alive, having dragged a legal snare anchored to a log “contrary to the Code of Practice”. It was screaming in agony and had to be put to sleep.
And this snared badger died in a legal snare in January 2012 photo: Vale Wildlife