When is a Snare not a Snare?
Never. A snare is always a snare. I’m not going to put up any photos of trapped animals. But take it from me they show appalling suffering. However Scottish Land & Estates say there is an alternative : the humane cable restraint. Let’s have a look at that.
This is a snare:
Grouse moor estates use them to catch animals. Not grouse. Obviously. Other animals. The traps are set on trails, posts, trees – wherever the grouse moor managers know these other animals pass by. The traps are indiscriminate. Whatever gets caught in the snare, dies in the snare. Eventually. Or if it is lucky it escapes badly maimed. So that’s weasels, badgers, polecats, squirrels, birds, foxes, hares, etc.
Why do grouse moor managers do this?
To protect the profitability of their business and their sales product, ie the red grouse. It’s called predator control. To be fair, they use other predator control methods as well: stink pits, poison, spring traps. I can’t imagine badgers or squirrels etc kill many grouse but what do I know.
This sort of killing then enables the other sort of killing: charging people a very large fee, taking them up on to Scottish grouse moors and letting them bang away with shotguns at the grouse.
Wildlife Management and Muirburn Bill at Holyrood also had to consider the question: When is a snare not a snare?
A few months back, Gillian Martin, MSP, Scottish Government Minister for Energy and Environment at Holyrood announced that she was minded to ban such snares altogether. This was after hearing evidence about the cruelty and suffering they cause and the lack of evidence that they are effective in their stated aim.
Well as you might imagine that created a right stushie in grouse moor estate circles! At any rate Scottish Land & Estates responded calling on the Environment Minister to retain the use of ‘humane cable restraints’. Their letter -signed by 150 land managers – has now been published: with the suggestion that estates use humane cable restraints instead. I mean that’s very receptive and reasonable of them.
This is a diagram of a Humane Cable Restraint.
This image is from a paper to Welsh Government by the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust Cymru. Perhaps they should also ask when is a snare not a snare?
And Kirsty Jenkins, Policy Officer at OneKind, sent a letter to the Rural Affairs Committee reiterating the fact that the game shooting lobby has simply re-branded the term ‘snare’ as a ‘humane cable restraint’ and that there’s no difference between the two.
You can find both letters here
Basically the Scottish grouse estate lobbyists tried to pull the wool over the Gillian Martin’s eyes. Thankfully it looks like they did not succeed. And in a recent exchange in Holyrood Rachel Hamilton, Conservative MSP, was easily seen off by the Minister. But the Bill can still be amended and campaigners are keeping a wary eye on proceedings.
Revive Coalition for Grouse Moor Reform
Since then the Wildlife Management and Muirburn Bill has been making its way through Holyrood. A good many of the talks from the Conference featured evidence and research that had been given during the Bill’s Consultation Stage.
And yes, your IndyPodCasters woz there!
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