The move to ban snaring, which will place further pressure on the country’s already struggling ground nesting bird populations, was afforded a single sentence in a newly issued policy document.
There had been signs that the Welsh Government might make a move to ban snaring when it issued a consultation earlier this year which said that, “It is the Law Commission’s view that, in the future, the operation and inspection of snares may benefit from additional regulations prescribing how relevant snares should be operated and inspected.”
Over the last few years, shooting and countryside groups have worked with the Welsh Government to develop a code of practice on snaring and there is now anger that that work has been discarded in favour of a ban. BASC Wales director Steve Griffiths, said: “The code offers a means of controlling the use of snares in Wales whilst seeking to deliver the highest animal welfare standards and minimise risk to non-target species. We are unaware of any new evidence that leaves the code out of date or requiring further legislation.
“We oppose the proposal to ban snaring in Wales and will continue to stress their importance to politicians across the country. We are working with partner organisations to ensure this vital management tool remains at the disposal of farmers, conservationists and land managers.”
Among those who have been working within the snaring code is North Wales Gamekeeper Geraint Jones. Geraint told Shooting Times why snares are a vital tool for gamekeepers and conservationists.
Geraint said: “It’s a tool in the battle against foxes, but unlike the other tools we have to control foxes, snaring is a tool that works 24/7. When we have birds in pens and when sheep are lambing we can only be on the ground for a limited time, but the snare is there when we are not.” Geraint went on to explain that banning snares would mean, “More work, more hours to find something else to replace that tool with but I can’t see what that will be.”