The guide was published nine months after the Scottish Government?s decision not to ban snares but rather to regulate their use.

It was co-authored by several leading rural organisations dedicated to professional wildlife management in Scotland, including BASC, the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT) and the Scottish Gamekeepers? Association (SGA).

Mr Russell said: ?I am pleased to launch the practitioners? guide, which is a prime example of different stakeholders working together and a significant step along the way to eliminating improper use of snares.

When done properly, snaring is a legitimate form of pest control. However, we are determined that those who use snares illegally and indiscriminately will be

vigorously pursued and punished. We will bring forward new legal regulations shortly.?

BASC Scotland?s Colin Shedden, who wrote the guide, said: ?Since earlier

codes of practice were produced there has been legislative change and there will be more in the future. This guidance is designed to ensure that everyone knows how to stay within the law, to follow best practice and to understand the changes that are coming.?