The AB snare has a ‘V’ shaped device at one end with wire threaded at either side. This fox snare does not run as freely as the standard legal types, but does not fully lock either, and as we will see expert opinion is divided regarding its legal categorisation. 

AB Snare - Legal and Illegal

 The snare on the left is the new AB snare that is free running. While the snare on the right is the old AB snare that locks up and was withdrawn after the Game Conservancy Trust issued a “warning notice” following correspondence with the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions (DETR).

The Game Conservancy Trust warned their suppliers that they had withdrawn the snare from the market until redesigned. You will see that the oblong hole on the strut was moved to a higher position.

However, our North East contact, John Gill has recently May 2007 found 92 of the older illegal self locking type in one wood on a fence line (contrary to the code of practice). He took them to Barnard Castle police station, County Durham, explaining they were illegal and police handed them back to the land owner and ignored the complaint.

We made a complaint about Durham police to the IPCC on John Gill’s behalf. Unfortunately Durham police appear to ignore wildlife crime. This gives landowners almost a free reign to carry out illegal snaring in this region. Look out for the the old AB snares.

AB Snare History

The AB snare is manufactured by A.B. Country Products of Redditch. It started in widespread use in the North of England in about 1997. Mr John O’Connell, a former employee of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries, has taken the witness stand to say that he passed the snare as legal and gave authority for their use. He claimed that he was wholly responsible for authorising their use!

Anti snare campaigner, John Gill has removed dozens of these snares and taken them to the police inviting prosecution. On some occasions the courts have found the AB snares to be legal free running, and on other occasions accepted they are illegal self-locking.

Professor Steven Harris of Bristol University and wildlife expert, John Bryant have concluded the original AB snare is self-locking.

Following John Gill’s court cases we made representations to the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions (DETR) who regulate snares and traps. They questioned the Game Conservancy Trust about the potential illegality. The Game Conservancy Trust claim the snare is “legal”, but were so worried they issued a “Warning Notice” following correspondence by DETR.

The Game Conservancy warned their suppliers that they had “withdrawn our snares from the market until such time as we have redesigned the eye and they are cleared for use, or the original design has been cleared for use.” What we loosely call the AB snare, they described as “the GC Limited snare (and others on the market.)”

Since then the eye has been modified and is more oblong. However, thousands of the original design are still out there! Notify us if you come across an AB snare or the GC Limited snare.

Lawyers for Animal Rights (a group of lawyers committed to justice for animals) are keen to bring a prosecution on this snare, so look out for it and report to us.