The Northern Ireland Assembly’s Environment Committee has this morning voted for a complete ban on the use of snares in Northern Ireland. The forthcoming Wildlife & Natural Environment (NI) Bill will include legislation to put this ban into force.

The results of a new poll, released today (Thursday) by the League Against Cruel Sports, show massive support for a total ban on snares in Northern Ireland.

An overwhelming 82 per cent of those polled, by Ipsos MORI, think the use of snares should be illegal, while only 11 per cent are in favour of their use.

The results also show people in both rural and urban areas want to see an end to the use of snares with 84 per cent of people supporting a ban in rural parts of Northern Ireland and 81 per cent in urban areas.

So barbaric are snares that only 17 per cent are aware that they are still legal and it was commonly assumed they had been banned.

Snares are thin wire traps used mainly on sporting estates to protect game birds being reared for shooting. The League is campaigning for an end to snaring on the grounds they are cruel, indiscriminate and cause unnecessary suffering to animals.

The League’s Northern Ireland Campaigner Mary Friel said: “These figures come as absolutely no surprise as we are well aware of the strength of feeling on this issue in Northern Ireland, and we are delighted that the Committee has taken the decision to base their policy on clear public opinion. The fact that more than eight out of every ten people support a ban should send a clear message to politicians that snaring must be consigned to the history books.”