A DEVASTATED dog owner has called for snares to be banned after his pet died in agony.

John Buchan, who lives in Gask, recently suffered the trauma of finding family pet Harvey caught in one of these snares during a walk with members of his family and their Border Terrier at Trinity Gask.

He explained: “The dogs ran into the woods and the Border Terrier emerged very quickly. My dog, Harvey, did not reappear and I called it and heard no bark response.”

John, his daughter-in-law and granddaughter continued to search for the six-year-old Cocker Spaniel, who has been with the Buchan family since he was just two months old, eventually calling his wife to join in the hunt.

It wasn’t until four hours later that he found his beloved pet, trapped dead in a snare.

“I came across my dog, lying with a wire snare embedded into his neck and his tongue out the side of his mouth, where he had bitten it off.

“My wife had two pairs of florist’s scissors in her car and with great difficulty we managed to hack through the wire snare, which was affixed to a tree.”

John claims that there was no signage indicating the use of snares along the path, which leads to the Gask Ridge watch tower and that if there had been, he would have kept Harvey on a lead or chosen another place to walk him.

“If I had been aware of snares having been placed in the near vicinity of the walk, neither myself nor my daughter-in-law would have gone on that walk.”

And he is now campaigning for all snares to be banned, or alternatively for signage of their use to be mandatory.

“If the land-owning lobby is too strong to allow banning completely, there should be regulative requirements brought in requiring those who places snares to put up warning signs in conspicuous places, and particularly in areas to which the public have access.”

John is asking that anyone who feels that snares should not be used contact their MSP or write to snaringconsultation2006@scotland.gsi.gov.uk and voice their concerns.

Tayside Police Wildlife and Environmental Crime Officer Allan Stewart told the PA that because current legislation does not state landowners need to put up signs warning of snares, it was up to dog owners to remain vigilant.

He said: “Dog owners – and anyone who is walking in the countryside – should read the Access Code, which lays out the guidelines.”

He continued that the Access Code states that owners can walk their dogs “provided that the dog is under proper control”.

Mr Stewart also stated that the government is currently looking at snaring legislation and that signage was one of the recommendations.

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