Carlisle MP Eric Martlew is campaigning to ban the manufacture and use of brutal animal snares.

The Labour backbencher acted in the wake of a new report by the National Federation of Badger Groups. The study revealed that hundreds of badgers and other animals were being killed and maimed in snares. And it found alarming evidence that self-locking snares – banned under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 – are still being used.

Mr Martlew, a fervent anti-blood sport supporter, is now calling for the production of all snares to be prohibited.

He argues this is needed because of an anomaly in the law which means that it is legal to use snares for the control of foxes and rabbits – but not other animals. But this is unenforceable because the snares trap any animal which steps into them.