Advocates for Animals, Scotland’s leading animal protection organisation, is hugely disappointed that the Scottish Parliament has failed to ban the use of all snares in Scotland. The Parliament had the opportunity to ban these cruel and indiscriminate devices whilst updating wildlife legislation under the Nature Conservation (Scotland) Bill. The Stage 3 and final debate took place today. The Scottish Executive has seemingly all along been determined to continue to allow the use of snares.

Animal protection groups, which for many years have called for a ban on snares, were disappointed that an amendment proposed by Eleanor Scott, MSP (Green, Highlands and Islands), at Stage 2 of the Bill to ban all snares was defeated. A recent NOP confirmed clear majority support throughout Scotland for a ban on the use of snares. The poll showed that 73% of people across Scotland support a ban on snaring – with only 8% expressly opposing a ban. Celebrities who backed a ban included playwright Carla Lane and actresses Jenny Seagrove and Scots-born Annette Crosbie.

In the absence of a complete ban on all snares, Advocates for Animals urged MSPs to support an amendment tabled by Rosemary Byrne, MSP (SSP, South of Scotland). This amendment would have held landowners responsible for snaring offences committed on their property. The law, as it stands, protects these landowners from the consequences of suspect ‘predator control’ actions carried out on their behalf. Investigations have revealed the presence of illegal traps on estates in Scotland, but prosecutions could not be brought because of the landowners denying all knowledge of them. Disappointingly, the Parliament today failed to support this amendment.