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Campaign and petition email responses | Please support banning cruel and outdated snares

Campaign and petition email responses

Please support banning cruel and outdated snares

Animal welfare is an area which the SNP takes extremely seriously. The SNP has been vocal in addressing concerns at a UK level and is committed in the Scottish Government’s Program for Government to take steps to strengthen animal welfare legislation to the highest possible standards.

The independent Grouse Moor Management report was published at the end of 2019 which took a comprehensive, consultive and evidence-based approach to key issues surrounding the management of grouse moors in twenty-first century Scotland.

After careful consideration of the recommendations in this report, the SNP is implementing strengthened regulation to do with the use of traps and a stricter licensing regime for land management and monitoring to deter abhorrent wildlife crime from taking place.

The Scottish Government accepts that the use of traps is sometimes necessary to enable land managers to control certain species to protect livestock, crops, and wild birds. However, we also acknowledge that as noted in the GMMG report, the lawful use of traps can sometimes result in unintended harm to wildlife and there are occasions where traps are not being deployed or used in a manner that is compliant with the current regulations.

In the pursuits of strengthening these regulations, the SNP Scottish Government plans to bring trapping broadly in line with those for snaring: the requirement for detailed record keeping and individual trapper IDs would also help inform a better understanding of the level of trapping being undertaken in Scotland.

Asked in Holyrood about the SnareWatch Annual Report 2021, Minister for Environment, Biodiversity and Land Reform Mairi McAllan MSP responded: “We recently concluded a review of snaring, as required by the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, which we will publish shortly. I have commissioned an additional review, which will look beyond the terms of the 1981 act to consider a potential ban on snaring. It will look at land management aspects of the matter, as well as animal welfare. In the meantime, Scotland has the most robust laws on snaring in the United Kingdom. We remain committed to the highest possible animal welfare standards. As the initial review is complete, and I will be pleased to share the detail of it shortly. I have commissioned the further review and we will look beyond the terms of the 1981 act, including at considering a ban. I hope to announce the details of that shortly. I know how strongly the member and the public feel about the matter. I am clear that we need control measures, but we cannot and must not tolerate suffering. I will look to include that in the terms of the review.”

Mairi later wrote of her plans to the Convener of the Rural Affairs, Islands and Natural Environment Committee saying: “As I stated in the Scottish Parliament last September 2021, we also intend to carry out a review of snaring with a wider scope than the requirement set out in the Act. The review will look in more detail at the animal welfare implications of snaring as well as the land management arguments for and against the use of snares.”

The SNP remains determined to maintain the highest standards of animal welfare and will explore what further regulation is required as we develop our plans for a licensing regime and scope for more control measures to prevent suffering.

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