Snaring ban step closer as Wildlife Bill progresses

Close up of a hare in long grass
Alan Robertson

A ban on the use of snare traps in Scotland has reached a key parliamentary milestone.

As part of Stage 2 of the Wildlife Management and Muirburn Bill, the Rural Affairs and Islands Committee voted in favour of Environment Minister Gillian Martin’s amendment to ban the use of snares.

This means that, if passed by Parliament at Stage 3, the Bill will contain an important provision that will directly lead to more effective and sustainable wildlife management practices.

During her Committee appearance, Ms Martin said:

“This Parliament can no longer ignore the weight of evidence that snares lead to unacceptable levels of suffering, not just for wild animals, but for domestic animals which can also become trapped in them.

“I recognise that control of predators is necessary in order to protect vulnerable species, as well as livestock and agriculture. But I am confident that a ban on the use of snares would not prevent anyone from undertaking necessary wildlife management and that there are still sufficient alternative methods of predator control that can be used.

“We have paid close attention to the evidence, to what stakeholders have shared in terms of their experiences, as well as our consultation on the matter before taking this decision."

The Wildlife Management and Muirburn (Scotland) Bill was introduced to Parliament on 21 March 2023. The Bill is currently at Stage 2.