A shocking incident of a fox caught in a snare has led to calls for the practice to be banned

Support us and go ad-free

At a farm in Somerset, a dead fox was left in a snare. The Somerset County Gazette reports that the landowner left the animal caught in it for so long that, when it was discovered, its body was decomposing. In response to the incident, the National Anti-Snaring Campaign (NASC) is again calling for a ban on snares.

Police failings 

A spokesperson for NASC pointed out police failings after they reported the incident:

We informed the police and included a map, and PC Blight went to investigate.

He later claimed he could find no snares, but spoke to [the] landowner… who admitted he had forgotten to remove the decomposing snared fox, and would do so.

PC Blight then only reminded the landowner to check his snares every day in future.

NASC also complained that the police did not inform the landowner that the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) prohibits snares being set along a fence line, yet this is where the animal was found. Avon and Somerset Police sent an apology to NASC, which said PC Blight:

was unaware of the DEFRA Codes of practice and did not discuss these with the landowner. I have asked him to re-attend and do so. Unfortunately, due to his actions at the time we have no evidence to proceed with a prosecution under the Wildlife and Countryside Act and the Animal Welfare Act 2006.

Read on...

Support us and go ad-free

The apology continued:

I have arranged for him to receive further training on these to Acts to avoid this happening again. Along with the rest of the team so that the knowledge gap in this area is filled… In relation, to PC Blight, not contacting you to obtain further information at the time,  I have spoken to PC Blight and he admits he did not do this and this was a failing on his part for which he apologises.

But the group remarked that the apology was of:

little comfort to the foxes that will have suffered terribly in these snares.

An Avon and Somerset Police spokesperson told The Somerset County Gazette:

We can confirm we received and investigated a complaint that was made regarding the response of two officers in relation to a report of the snaring of a fox… in December. As a result, both officers were given appropriate management advice and a local resolution action plan was implemented, following agreement with the complainant.

Calls for a ban on snares

NASC spokesman Simon Wild told The Somerset County Gazette:

This case shows the law and codes of practice do not protect wildlife from extreme suffering and only a complete ban on snaring will work.

Last November, West Sussex County Council banned the use of snares. The League Against Cruel Sports welcomed the decision, but added:

We’re working hard for a complete ban on snares in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales to prevent the suffering of British wildlife

Wild also commented:

I think councils nationwide would be receptive to banning snares on land they own as DEFRA’s own 2012 study has proved they are indiscriminate and cruel. So councillors need little persuading.

As The League Against Cruel Sports notes, 77% of the general public want snares banned, while 68% of MPs want the same.

Up to 1,700,000 animals are caught in snares every year. And many will suffer a painful and lingering death. The UK is one of the few countries in Europe where the practice is still legal.

Progress for animal welfare

West Sussex County Council’s ban on snares shows that progress is underway. Indeed, animal welfare is increasingly featuring on the political agenda. As The Canary reported on 15 February, Labour has just published its Animal Welfare Plan. It includes a ban on foie gras and badger culling, mandatory CCTV in slaughterhouses, a move away from factory farming, and a strengthening of the Hunting Act.

The League Against Cruel Sports has urged the public to contact their councillors and make the case for an end to the “barbaric practice of snaring”. Each individual has the power to make a difference.

Get Involved!

– Support the National Anti Snaring Campaign and the League Against Cruel Sports.

– Read more articles from The Canary on animal welfare.

Join us, so we can keep holding the powerful to account.

Featured image via Geograph

Support us and go ad-free

We need your help to keep speaking the truth

Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.

Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.

We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.

In return, you get:

* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop

Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.

With your help we can continue:

* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do

We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?

The Canary Support us

Comments are closed