The joint statement – issued by BASC Scotland, the Scottish Rural Property and Business Association, the Scottish Countryside Alliance (SCA), the Scottish Estates Business Group and the Scottish Gamekeepers’ Association (SGA) stressed snaring was a vital tool for responsible land managers.

The 2004 Nature Conservation (Scotland) Act introduced new restrictions on the use of snares and the ability to regulate further.

Political pressure within Holyrood and from groups opposed to snares has led to this current review, following on from the Scottish government consultation on snaring which closed in February this year.

Tony Andrews, SCA’s chief executive, said: “Gameshooting is vitally important to the economy and culture of rural Scotland and naturally we want to protect game species. We work hard to protect species of high conservation value, including declining birds such as capercaillie, golden plover, blackgrouse, lapwing and curlew.”

“In order to protect gamebirds, groundnesting birds and our natural heritage, pests such as foxes and rabbits must be controlled. Snaring is a vital tool for land managers. We believe the best way forward is a strict industry code of practice, enforced diligently by all employers and representative bodies, to ensure that snares continue to be used responsibly. ”

The rest of this article appears in 20 December issue of Shooting Times.

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