Ban Snares

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Campaign  :  Banning the use of snares

It’s hard to put together an article and information purely based on snaring without mentioning all the other associated cruel barbaric practices that go hand-in-hand with this industry.

We hope this will give readers a wider knowledge and understanding of the whole issues surrounding snaring.


The article below, will explain how the campaign to ban snaring has progressed. Many groups have worked on this in a combined effort.

 
It now needs a kick start with a polite nudge in the right direction. 

Mark Drakeford (Leader of the Welsh Government) has recently shown good leadership and animal protection empathy in disallowing the “Badger Cull” in Wales and must be congratulated. However, we feel now is the time to ask them for more by also banning snares.

 

We are asking the Welsh Government to consider a comprehensive ban on snares in Wales; one that prohibits their manufacture, possession, sale, and use.

 

Please join us by sending the Welsh Government our letter template. There is also a UK petition to sign.


 
Link :  Letter template

 

Petition  :  Ban Snares Petition

By Simon Wild (NASC)

 

We hope you will join and support the campaign.

 

Many thanks, 
Foxhunting Evidence UK team


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Article – Banning Snares

 

Article by  :  Foxhunting Evidence UK
Date  :  24 Jun 2021

 

Article Index  :  Banning Snares

  • Campaign  –  Banning the use of snares
  • Welsh Parliament  –  (Update on snaring)
  • UK Government  –  Parliament debate on snares
  • DEFRA 2012 Report
  • Geoffrey Clifton-Brown
  • Outcome of Parliament debate
  • Rebecca Pow MP – Reply
  • Voluntary Code of Practice Approach
  • Snaring Incidents
  • Exposing the lie that fox numbers need to be controlled
  • Rearing Foxes
  • Disproportionate Policing
    • Nick Herbert
    • The men behind hunting
    • Webinars – Video exposing hunters lies and smokescreens
    • Police operational advice responding to hunting (Our response)
  • The shooting Industry
  • Gun Licences
  • Children with Guns
  • Shooting licence subsidised by the tax payer
  • Snaring and it’s associated activities
  • Moor Burning
  • Loopholes in the Animal Welfare Act 2006
  • Summary : Banning Snares
  • Labours Animal Welfare manifesto
  • Template letter & Petition

Article – Banning Snares
 

On 22 July 2016 Stuart Winter (The Express), wrote an article about snaring. He stated 1.7 million animals per year will continue suffering “cruelty and barbarism” at the hands of snare traps – despite MP’s wanting a ban and voting to ban the manufacture, sale, possession and use of snares outright, which would have been in line with most other countries in Europe.

Link  :  https://www.express.co.uk/news/nature/692430/More-than-million-animals-year-fall-victim-barbaric-snare-traps

 

FHEUK Web address page break

Welsh Parliament – (Update on snaring)
 

Currently snaring in Wales is controlled by legislation from the “Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981” with additional voluntary “Code of Practice” guidelines written by BASC (British Association of Shooting)

 
·   Welsh Petitions Committee of Welsh Parliament made recommendations following a petition submitted by NASC (National Anti Snaring Campaign) 
Petitions Committee - response
Wales to a certain extent has its hands tied regarding laws by the Government of Wales Act 2006, as many laws relate to both England and Wales, therefore controlled by parliament,
however,
Wales can propose to ban
unnecessary animal cruelty under (Item 16)  Section 14  of the Animal Welfare Act 2006  by writing a proposal white paper.

Section 14  :  Where the National Assembly for Wales proposes to issue (or revise) a code of practice under section 14, it shall — Prepare a draft (White Paper) of the code (or revised code).

 

Even though the Welsh government initially adopted the “Snaring Code of Practice” in September 2015, they have since stated : that should this voluntary approach fail to drive up operator practice and animal welfare standards, they would seek to regulate the sale and use of snares in Wales” 


 
·   Lesley Griffiths AS/MS (Welsh Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs) 
The Welsh rural affairs minister has produced proposals for the regulation of snaring which are presented in : Agriculture (Wales) White Paper
16 December 2020  (191 pages long, Snaring in section 7)

 

Link  :  Agriculture (Wales) White Paper 
Section 7 :  Proposals for additional Powers, Regulating the use of Snares in Wales.  


However, this paper only states the proposal for the regulation of snares and does not state what these regulations on snares will be. We are hoping this will be a complete ban on their manufacture, possession, sale, and use.

 

Petitions Committee - Leasley Griffith reply 8832


In recent years there has been some progress in respect to animal welfare in Wales – the country (Welsh Labour) seems to be leading the way in tackling animal cruelty, however, this has been extremely slow process. Since the introduction of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, it has taken 40 yrs to get this far and even though both the public and MP’s want to see snares banned, certain individuals who have a personal interest in the continuation of snaring are blocking any attempt. 
 
It would be wonderful if the Welsh government could plan to expedite a total ban on snaring.

 

Polling by YouGov in January 2021 found :-

 78%  of the Welsh public wanted snares to be made illegal (thin wire nooses mainly laid by gamekeepers to trap animals)

72%  thought the use of cages to breed pheasants and partridges should be made illegal. 

Wales Update  :  Welsh Wildlife Coordinator appointed 

 Rob Taylor

 (Clarification : for the purpose of clarification, we have described all those people who monitor hunts and try to prevent illegal hunting as “Hunt Monitors”)

 

Rob Taylor (ex-police officer and civilian manager of North Wales Rural Crime Team) has been appointed as “Wales Wildlife Coordinator“.

 

While the appointment of a Wales Wildlife Coordinator is welcomed, the person being appointed is highly questionable, especially when Rob Taylor is under investigation by Police Professional Standards.

 

This is probably not one of Lesley Griffiths best decisions.

 

We spoke to a group who monitor hunts in North Wales who informed us of their dealings with Rob Taylor (North Wales Rural Crime Team).

 

It is so important Wales appoints a person who is appropriate for the job, who is impartial and disproportionate policing becomes a thing of the past to restore trust in rural policing.

 

Heres what the group told us :
 Link  :  
Rob Taylor

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UK Government  :  Parliament Debate on Snares

 

In July 2016, MP’s supported a total ban on snares, with the majority of MP’s being in support of this and called for an outright ban during a parliamentary debate that week.


During the Commons debate, Jim Dowd, then Lab MP for Lewisham West and Penge, said there was a compelling case for an outright ban on all snares.

Jim Dowd quoted from DEFRA (Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs) 2012 report. 
DETERMINING THE EXTENT OF USE AND HUMANENESS OF SNARES IN ENGLAND AND WALES

Report by DEFRA 2012  :  
 In DEFRA’s field studies, “
Little more than a quarter (27%) of the animals trapped in snares were found to be the intended targeted victims, i.e foxes.
The other three quarters (
73%) caught in snares were non-targeted species. Out of the 73% this includes :-

33% – hares (protected species).

26% – badgers (protected species).

14% – described as “other” (which includes domestic pets, farm animals and other protected animals, i.e hedgehog, pine marten, otter, polecat and red squirrel). 

Link  :  DEFRA 2012 Report  (Full)

 

The key findings were that many non target animals were caught, mainly badgers and hares, and that the snares caused significant injuries, with badgers and rabbits particularly suffering.
 With rabbits, most professional snare setters expected to find up to 30% dead, and the laboratory studies showed gruesome and slow asphyxiation.

Based on the government report figures, this works out to be approximately 1,700,000 animals caught in snares every year, which doesn’t include all the non-reported snaring incidents, so this figure could be much higher. 

That goes to the heart of the inefficiency of snares as a device for animal control”

In 2005, “DEFRA’s independent working group on snares” concluded that it would be difficult to reduce non-target catches to less than 40%.

 

According to DEFRA’s 2012 report, 260,000 snares are in use in England and Wales. 

 

The report reveals that 95% of landholdings do not use snares, the remaining 5% who do use snares, are far more likely to be on landholdings used for game bird shooting.

 
 
In other words, the law on snares is mainly designed for game bird shooting. A law designed purely to enable a small minority to maximise their shooting fun.

 

Link  :  https://hansard.parliament.uk/commons/2016-07-21/debates/2B07B500-6B75-4E2D-8E3F-1F1BF9CA92BD/Snares


 The findings were shocking, but instead of government changing the law to stop this cruelty 
(pressure from the hunting & shooting lobby), they decided they would adopt guidelines “Snaring Code of Best Practice” written by BASC the Hunting & Shooting Lobby.

 

It’s safe to say, both the “Hunting & Shooting lobby” and the “Government” knew that these adopted guidelines could not be regulated or policed, so it was a case of back to illegal snaring business as usual.

 

Analogy : It’s just like a thief saying “I’ve written myself a best code of practice to stealing and promise to follow it, because i know you can’t regulate it”,  then the government saying, “great let’s adopt that for all law breakers and it might keep the campaigners quiet for a while”.


The most important aspect of the “Snaring Code of Practice” is that it has no legal standing, as such, it’s not worth the paper it’s printed on. It is totally unregulated or policed because most illegal snaring is done on private shooting estates miles away from prying eyes.
 It simply just does not work and is ineffective at protecting our wildlife and pets from snares.


The only way to ensure cruel, unnecessary, indiscriminating snaring does not take place, is a total ban on their manufacture, possession, sale, and use.


So DEFRA signed off and gave its backing to the Code of Practice for snaring written by BASC, stating they have no plans to ban snaring.


Quote  :  NASC stated,  Police told us as from April 2021 the Code of Practice is “code only” and “not something we enforce”.

FHEUK Web address page break

 

Geoffrey Clifton-Brown  :  Tory MP for the Cotswolds and Chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Shooting and Conservation, farmer, and keen supporter of shooting, defended the use of snares, claiming snares were needed to protect piglets and lambs at certain times of the year from predators.

 

However, there appears to be little evidence to support foxes take healthy lambs or piglets. A fox would be no match for an angry sow or protective ewe. 

 

This was clearly a conflict of interest and a highly exaggerated questionable claim with a hidden agenda.

 

Although raising the issue of foxes, Geoffrey Clifton-Brown failed to mention that foxes also have cubs at this time of year and killing the adult foxes would result in their cubs starving to death in their dens.

Once again in direct conflict with the Animal Welfare Act 2006.

 

Clifton-Smith also discussed his love of shooting in Guntrade News. 

Link  :  https://www.guntradenews.com/tag/geoffrey-clifton-brown/

 Clifton Brown has a personal vested interest in the shooting industry, recently being elected as as Vice President of BASC, where he clearly wields some influence on the industry. 

The Morning Star reported Clifton Brown received shooting days from BASC to the value of £2,424.18 between 2015/17.
Link  :  https://morningstaronline.co.uk/article/b/trigger-happy-tories-received-almost-22k-worth-of-shooting-days


 The Countryside Alliance  proudly reported Clifton Brown showing his support for National Shooting Week 

Link  :  https://www.countryside-alliance.org/news/mp-geoffrey-clifton-brown-shows-his-support-for-national-shooting-week

Geoffrey_Clifton-Brown shooting week
 
Clifton-Brown has used his position in government to try to influence opinions and outcomes of banning snaring while also personally gaining from this.  It is nothing less than disgraceful.

 

Geoffrey Clifton-Brown has a large vested interest in the shooting industry.

  • He is Vice President of BASC
  • He supports organisations involved in hunting and game shooting, such as Countryside Alliance and Trade Shooting.
  • Worst of all, (as stated above) it was revealed by Morning Star News he was in receipt of £2,424.18 worth of shooting days.

He is clearly heavily biased towards the shooting industry, including many other tory MPs, as reported in The Morning Star. Lobbying gifts and donations seem to play a large part in influencing tory policies.

Trigger Happy Tories

 Link  :  https://morningstaronline.co.uk/article/b/trigger-happy-tories-received-almost-22k-worth-of-shooting-days

FHEUK Web address page break

 

Outcome of Parliament debate

 

Vigorous lobbying by the shooting industry and a snub by Geoffrey Clifton-Brown sealed its fate and the total banning of snares failed.  

 

Despite much evidence being submitted as to the suffering and cruelty caused by snaring and their inefficiency, then Environment Minister, Therese Coffey informed that a new Code of Practice was being developed, as also reported in The Express.

The backtrack to cover themselves  :  However, as stated in her opening letter of the Code of Practice, this is owned by the industry and not the government. DEFRA has already highlighted the discriminatory and inefficiency of snaring practice.

 So even though the government knew the code was discriminatory and inefficient, they still adopted it, quoted it and used it as a way to appease campaigners, petitions and enquiries, all the time knowing it didn’t work, instead of committing to actually changing the law and banning snares.

The new rural affairs minister (appointed Feb 2020),George Eustice, is even more pro hunting, arrogant and blatantly turns a blind eye to any issues that may restrict his beloved hunting and shooting.

 Link  :  https://www.express.co.uk/news/nature/692430/More-than-million-animals-year-fall-victim-barbaric-snare-traps


‘One Kind’ set up SnareWatch saying they were shocked that more than a quarter of the animals snared were protected animals.

Link  :  http://www.snarewatch.org/about/the-law-and-snaring
 

The terrible conclusion to all of this is that a wonderful opportunity was lost to ensure our wildlife and pets were protected from the barbarity and inhumaneness of snares, to placate the huge shooting establishments and estates just to boost the number of game birds to kill, satisfying the guns and their haul, thereby boosting their own coffers. A disgraceful outcome .

Dr Rupa Huq, Labour MP asked a question in Parliament on 21st April 2021,  to George Eustice (Secretary of State for DEFRA).   
Question : “What recent assessment he has made of the potential merits of banning the use of snares in the UK?” 

Rebecca Pow reply  :  A written response was given by Rebecca Pow MP (Under-Secretary of State for DEFRA). She confirmed the Government (Tories) has no current plans to ban the use of snares.

Rebecca Pow response

Link  :  https://www.parallelparliament.co.uk/mp/rupa-huq


Rebecca Pow supports the shooting industry as stated on her website

Link https://www.rebeccapow.org.uk/grouse-shooting


This all highlights the difficulties trying to ban snares, especially in England. The very people who dictate and make the laws are the people who benefit from them, in a financial capacity. It is all very sleazy, corrupt and wrong. That’s what we get with a tory government.

The violation of our domestic pets and protected wildlife goes on. The persecuted fox suffers. All at the hands of greedy, killing shooting estates.

 

FHEUK Web address page break

Voluntary Code of Practice Approach

 

The voluntary code of practice on snares was written by a collaboration from various hunting and shooting organisations and adopted by governments.  There are various guidelines regarding how snares should be set, but this is totally unregulated or policed and relies on voluntary cooperation of the people setting them. 


This is absolutely ridiculous. Does anyone really expect a gamekeeper who is about to set an illegal snare is going to think “Wait, i must follow correct Voluntary Code of Practice”

 

It underlines why a voluntary approach that is not legally binding and can not be properly regulated or policed. It just doesn’t work. 


The only way to ensure cruel, unnecessary, indiscriminating snaring does not take place, is a total ban on their manufacture, possession, sale, and use.


All these claims to justify snaring, in reality, appears to really be a cover up for the real reason, money (to increase profit for a small minority of wealthy landowners), greed and enablement of hunting.
BASC Launch code

 

FHEUK Web address page break

 

Snaring Incidents
 

This is a listing of snaring incidents just in the first 6 months of 2021 of non-targetted animals killed or maimed by snares.  
 It goes to prove that the law, guidelines, policing and regulation of snaring is totally ineffective and only a total ban will stop this cruelty. This needs to be combined with improved gun licencing regulation and restrictions on who can shoot wildlife.

 Listing provided by  : 
Link  :  NASC

Link  :  Snare Watch

 

In the first 6 months of 2021

  • A cat was taken by a rescuer to Vets for Pets, Wheatley, Doncaster. A tight snare was removed. The cat died  despite being given oxygen. It was a fox snare. Being investigated by police and incident logged 06/06/21
  • Savanha/Bengal cat, dies at Howarth, West Yorkshire. 25/04/22. Caught on CCTV. Ongoing investigation.
  • A cat called Oreo from Winston  Leicester. Home made snare. It was reported to police who claimed it was not a police matter. They were informed by Nasc it was a crime as it was an illegal snare.
  • 12/02/21 Cat and fox found dead in snare at Bolton Abbey Estate Grouse moors, Nelly Park Wood, by a runner, who went a few metres off the path due to heather burning. He contacted estate but was ignored.Police investigated but bodies removed. The gamekeeper claimed it was a feral cat but did not scan for microchip.
     The estate maintained it was code compliant but it caused significant injury and death.
  • A silver fox, likely to have been a pet but living wild, was found March 2021 in Barry, South Wales, caught in snare next to her earth. Her damaged leg was amputated. RSPCA removed snare . Police investigating.
  • Six badgers snared at Heath House Estate Stockbridge Hants, snares set just a few hundred yards from setting on National Trust land Stockbridge Down. Found by walker whose own dog became caught in snare. They were set on barbed wire fences, contrary to the code of practice. After post mortems on 2 of snared badgers, one died of strangulation and the other shot, although remains of snare still around neck.
     Gamekeepers denied setting the snares so were not charged.
  • Muntjac deer 31/05/21 died in snare at Flitch Green Essex.
  • 06/05/21 Spilsby, Toynton. Cat comes home with snare  still around its middle. Cat survived.
  • 04/2021 Welton Dale East Yorkshire. Dog found by owner 50 metres from footpath in woodland, trapped in snare. Pheasants and feeders noted in undergrowth nearby.
  • One-kind (snare watch) reported a cocker spaniel, Murphy, owned by Gary Wright was found after he ran off the footpath in Flinty Fell woods near Nenthead Cumbria on 22/03/21, near a stink pit. This was close to Weardale Estate who are a driven grouse shoot. Murphy died, his neck broken in a snare. Police investigated but snare had been removed. Police unable to do anything.
  • 03/21 a 9 month old cat in Somerset came home with snare attached. It survived.
  • 03/21 A dog was trapped for 4 hours in a snare set near to Lambley Viaduct Northumberland. Dog owner managed to free the dog  but her other dog also got trapped in another snare. The owner discovered a pile of dead animals including badgers, foxes  pheasants and cat.
  • 03/21 A cat was caught in a snare 6 metres from his home Bridgewater Somerset. Owners heard him screaming in pain with the noose around his neck and paws.
  • 03/21 A cat went missing for 17 days from his home in Pucklechurch Bristol. He was found dead in a snare on neighbouring land. The following week a second cat was found snared in the same place.

These incidents are just a few reported since 2021. It is not only horrific and cruel, it defies welfare laws designed to protect animals, both wild and domestic. This cannot go on in the name of profit. The continued abuse of sentient creatures, for the pleasure of human beings  must be condemned and made illegal.

 

FHEUK Web address page break

 

Exposing the lie that fox numbers need to be controlled
 

 
One question which fails to be asked : “Do foxes numbers really need controlling?” or is it just an exaggerated claim by hunters & shooters for another agenda?
 

If we listen to the hunting & shooting lobby, they claim yes, but they fail to tell the whole truth and the real reason behind their “smear a fox campaign”.
(Foxes make jolly good sport to hunt & shoot and that’s the way they want to keep it).


Hidden Agenda
: It’s not really about controlling fox numbers to protect game birds/stock, its all about discrediting the fox so they can convince the gullible they need hunting and shooting.

 

According to DEFRA figures (Lamb fatalities) : 
95% –  
through poor husbandry (care), disease, still births, weather exposure, etc.
4% –  
dogs & other predatory birds and mammals.

1% –  blamed on foxes, however, it is questionable if the fox was the actually perpetrator and not just clearing up carcasses left to rot in fields.


Lamb Mortality Rates
There is little evidence that foxes are a real problem for stock in the countryside or pose a significant threat to numbers. If stock keepers want to reduce the number of fatalities, then maybe they need to look after them better.

 Foxes naturally control rat , rabbit and pigeon numbers and save the farming industry millions in damage to crops. It is counter productive killing a natural predator that controls these numbers. 

Foxes are no threat to lambs
Foxes with sheep 11156

 
Rural fox numbers are in decline, down 46%. For most people it has actually become a rare sight seeing a fox in the countryside.  

Chart figures

Shooters and hunters seem to be randomly just killing foxes out of spite and defiance. The law is not keeping up and failing to prevent this.

vindictive hunters

When people who enjoy killing wildlife are given gun licences, the consequences can be devastating on our wildlife.
Just killing for fun

The UK government is always bleating on about the UK having the best animal welfare standards in the world, but if the truth actually be known, due to loopholes in Acts and failure to regulate and police standards, our animals suffer the same cruelty as most other countries. In the UK, it all looks good on paper, however, in practice and reality it’s a different story.

FHEUK Web address page break


 Rearing Foxes

 

Hunters claim foxes need to be controlled, so why are they rearing them?   Many hunts build and maintain artificial earths designed to encourage foxes into the area to breed, this maintains numbers for hunting.
 Many of these artificial dens are designed (with access lids) so foxes can be removed easily should the hunts need one for hunting or bait for hounds.

Shamefully it is not actually illegal to do this until the animal is chased, however, this clearly shows “intention to hunt an animal” sadly, the courts fail to recognise this. When hunts are caught rearing foxes, their lame defence is usually “they were just rescuing the fox“.

Artificial earths

 Hunts rearing foxes to hunt, exposes the hunters’ lies and argument that fox numbers need to be reduced. Hunts lie and claim they are just encouraging foxes away from problem areas. 

In some areas, fox numbers are so low that hunts have to import them in from other areas (bagged foxes) and release them on the day of the hunt to be hunted or use them as bait for the hounds.


Captured foxes used as bait.

Captured fox
Foxes reared in cages
 
Until the 1930’s the Isle of Wight didn’t have any foxes, the hunt imported them to have something to hunt.


 
Many times we have asked the Hunting & Shooting lobby to produce video evidence of foxes actually killing healthy lambs to back up their claims. They fail to produce any.

 Uncontrolled hunting hounds cause far more of a threat to livestock, especially the spread of bTB from farm to farm, lack of bio security measures, also defecating in public places which they do not clean up after themselves.

TB Hounds

 

FHEUK Web address page break

 

Disproportionate Policing

 

If you have ever followed Police Rural Crime Teams on their FB pages, you will notice how most teams are keen to announce they have been on courses. These courses are usually provided by the pro hunting & shooting organisations. BASC or Countryside Alliance courses tend to be the police’s favoured choice. Rarely do the police attend courses that give an insight into how hunters and shooters break the law and create smokescreen lies.

 

It is not surprising our Rural Police Crime Teams have become institutionally biased with disproportionate policing.

 

Nick Herbert  :  has been appointed as the new Chairman of the College of Policing. He is an ex-huntsman and an extremely pro-hunt activist.
 As an MP, he received donations from the hunting lobby, 
Johan Christofferson.

 In October 2019, it was announced that Nick Herbert was rejoining the Countryside Alliance (of which he was a founder) as Chairman.

Huge conflict of interest and a highly controversial appointment.

How can a chairman of policing also be chairman of the CA (an organisation that promotes hunting, shooting and smokescreens lies for illegal hunting).
CA - Joint Hunting Committee formed

 

Link  :  Simon Hart & Nick Herbert – The men behind hunting

 

Link  :  (Webinars) Leaked video exposes the hunting office plotting to create lies and smokescreens

 

Link  :  NPCC Operational advice on responding to hunting incidents

 

FHEUK Web address page break


 The shooting Industry

 

The shooting industry is worth a lot of money. However, it is debatable if this money really contributes to the public purse or local communities. Is it just swallowed up by wealth landowners?

 

BASC claimed in 2014, that the industry “is worth £2 billion a year”. How much of this is purely from the game bird shooting element? What they also don’t admit to is the huge subsidies and grants they claim back. 

 

The hunting lobby also made exaggerated claims in 2004 saying if foxhunting was banned thousands would lose their jobs, hounds and horses would have to be killed, of course this was all exaggerated lies. 


A lot of this income comes from non-cruelty activities such as clay shooting and ranges etc, this isn’t a problem when shooting is restricted to just clay shooting or non living targets, …… it’s when animal cruelty is involved  that causes the main problems.

 

A report by Who Owns England March 2021,  revealed:

 

“half of England’s grouse moor estates turn out to be owned by the aristocracy and gentry, whilst the other half are owned by wealthy businessmen and women, City bankers, hedge fund managers, and Saudi princes.

 The fact that a tiny elite owns England’s grouse moor estates matters, because of the disproportionately large environmental impact of managing grouse moors. Grouse moor gamekeepers are responsible for the illegal persecution of hen harriers (we should have 300 pairs in the English uplands – it fell to 4 pairs in 2017, and for wiping out huge numbers of foxes, stoats and other natural predators of grouse.

 

The wealthy owners of grouse moor estates received over £10 million in public farm subsidies 2019 Who Owns England can reveal.

 A new investigation uncovers that 61 estates covering a vast 380,517 acres raked in £10,983,718 in taxpayer subsidies via the Common Agricultural Policy. The figures all comes from official DEFRA data on farm payments, combined with a database of grouse moor estates compiled by Who Owns England.

 We must ask, does this income from game bird shooting estates actually contribute to the economy and public purse, or does most of it find its way into the pockets of wealthy landowners and tax avoiding schemes?. 

This highlights the grouse shooting industry actually plunders from the public purse instead of contributing!
 

https://whoownsengland.org/2021/01/04/the-climate-sceptics-grouse-moor/ 


The public don’t realise they are being forced to support this shooting industry.

 

If the shooting lobby claims are correct, how does the public benefit from this?  Employment of a few locals for a few months of the year at the expense of cruel suffering to our wildlife and environmental issues? Your local spar shop probably contributes more to the economy and employment.

 

Why does the shooting lobby claim they contribute millions to the economy, but then claim it back in subsidies, grants and subsidised gun licences.

 

Not only are animals cruelly snared, including protected and endangered species, raptors have been illegally shot. It even goes further than this. 

 

What the shooting lobby fail to do is be open, honest and transparent about the fact that, millions & millions of game birds are bred in appalling cruel conditions on a huge scale and released into our countryside devastating the natural balance, ecosystems, environment and often in direct food competition with other native species of birds.
It seems clear, that with such
 large volumes of money involved, the shooting industry will say anything to protect their killing fun, even if it means turning a blind eye and downplaying the suffering of animals that goes hand in hand with this industry.
 This seriously needs regulating. 


 On moors used for grouse shooting, huge areas of moorland have to be burnt to feed this unnatural mass invasion. Combine this with all the other associated cruel practices that go hand-in-hand with the game bird industry, then the devastation is on a huge scale.

 

The shooting lobby have the cheek to moan about the possibility that a fox might take a few game birds to survive, it seems the fox might actually be the hero cleaning up the carcasses resulting from injured birds or dumped by the game bird shooting industry.

Dead game birds
 

Wild Justice  :  October 2020, Wild Justice was successful with a planned legal action which resulted in Defra agreeing to license the release of pheasants and red legged partridge to control the ecological damage to wildlife.
 
 

Wild Justice said:
 
“Adding the Pheasant and Red-legged Partridge to Schedule 9 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act, which contains species which cause ecological, environmental or socio-economic harm.  This means that those species can only be released under licence”.

It is further planned to:

  • Further research on impacts of predation by Pheasants on threatened reptiles such as Common Lizards and Adders. 
  • Further assessment of the influence of gamebird droppings on soil and water chemistry. 
  • Further monitoring of impacts of gamebird releases on densities of scavenging and predatory birds and mammals. 

Link  :  https://wildjustice.org.uk/general/wild-justice-statement-on-gamebird-licensing/

 

It is a shame BASC were not more honest and transparent to the negative downside of this industry i.e cruel snaring, burning of moors and environmental issues etc.

 

The 2012 report by Defra was clear, so one wonders why the change of direction that collapsed the case for a total ban on snaring. The facts speak for themselves. 

 

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Gun Licences

 

Gamekeepers and farmers claim snaring is the best method of fox control because the alternatives i.e shooting are far worse. 

This can be attributed to the lack of restrictions, training and regulation of people who are given gun licences. 

 

What do we expect when untrained, unqualified hooray henrys of the shooting world are given gun licences to blast wildlife for enjoyment, leaving animals injured, suffering and not dispatched properly.

 

Are police approving gun licences applications that have been submitted under the guise of sporting clay shooting which are then later used to shoot wildlife?
 

Kids with guns - Press Association

 

Children with Guns

♦   You need to be 14 to get a firearms certificate.
♦   You need to prove to the police that you have a good reason for possessing the firearm.
♦   You need to show you have somewhere suitable to use your firearm.
♦   There is no minimum age for a shotgun certificate.
♦   However until the age of 15 you need to be supervised by an adult when using a shotgun.
♦   You don’t have to show you have somewhere to use the shotgun or that you are a member of a shotgun club.

 

The UK is one of the only countries that shooters are not required to take a proficiency test before being allowed to shoot wildlife with shot guns (i.e to ensure they are a good enough shot to instantly dispatch an animal without injury and suffering).

It’s absolutely shocking that children are allowed to shoot wildlife for fun. 15yo’s and above are unsupervised and you don’t even have to prove you are a good shot to avoid injury.

 

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Shooting licence subsidised by the tax payer

 

The price of a firearms licence/certificate is  :  £88 for the licence and then £62 every 5 years for renewal.

 

This doesn’t cover the cost of actually administrating the licence (£200) a police chief has said. Taxpayers are having to subsidies the shortfall by £17 million pounds.

 

Norman Baker, who had responsibilities for shotgun certificates, said he has been frustrated by the decision to block plans to raise the cost of gun licences, forcing police services to find more than £17m from their operational budgets to subsidise them.

 

Britain has around 600,000 private gun licences/certificates, most of which are used by people such as farmers and those who shoot wildlife for enjoyment, including children.

 

It costs approximately £200 to administer a licence/certificate and the gun licence fee should reflect the cost.

 

Why should the taxpayer have to pick up the tab for hunting & shooting fanatics to have their killing enjoyment. 

 

It’s unlikely the British public would have issues with shooters who shoot non-live targets such as clay shooting etc, ……  it becomes an issue when killing animals for fun and all its associated questionable practices are involved.

 

It’s outrageous and if the British public really knew the truth there would be uproar. 

 

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Snaring and its associated activities


The reality of cruel barbaric snaring

snare photos
It’s not just about the cruelty to both wildlife and domestic pets caught in these snares, it’s also about the other aspects which goes hand-in-hand with this industry :-  


Caged Birds

Game birds 33992

Moor Burning  

  • Carried out to promote new heather growth to boost grouse numbers for shooting.
  • Its impact on flora and fauna.
  • The damage to fragile ecosystems.
  • Releases harmful greenhouse gases.
  • Kills wildlife including endangered species.
  • Damages the peat bog below
  • Increased risk of flooding and higher silting of water courses.
  • Dries out the moors causing the reduction of carbon absorption.
  • Out of control wildfires. This puts unnecessary extra strain on our emergency services, costing the tax payer millions to put out these fires.
  • Farmers and gamekeepers sometimes start moor burning fires illegally in the summer months and try and blame it on the public with BBQ’s or try and pass them off as naturally occurring wildfires.
  • The drain on emergency services and cost to taxpayer of putting out uncontrolled fires.
  • Subsidised gun licences that the tax payer has to pay for which runs into millions of pounds.
  • Bio security issues are often ignored : intensive rearing, welfare issues, poor regulation and monitoring, international transport and the industrial scale make perfect conditions for diseases and parasites to thrive. Pheasants carry coronaviruses and act as obvious potential reservoirs for other diseases of concern such as avian influenza. Given their extensive interaction with wildlife and encroachment into the wider landscape this should be an issue under intense scrutiny. COVID 19 and pandemics of the past have shown what happens when poor regulation, intensive practices, wildlife and human habitation mix.

Moor Burning photos
 
 Kim Greaves

19 Mar 2021

https://climateconversationsbrighton.uk.engagementhq.com/city-downland-estate-plan/stories/fair-game-or-foul-time-to-end-gamebird-releases-and-shooting-on-bhcc-publicly-owned-land

 

Scientists from the University of Leeds involved in the Ember project assessed the impact of heather burning on upland peat moors across the English Pennines.

Lead researcher Dr Lee Brown said: “Until now there was little evidence of the environmental impacts of moorland burning.

“The findings from the Ember project now provide the necessary evidence to inform policy.”

 

Labour cannot in anyway be seen to support or enable this cruel barbaric activity, all its associated practices and very questionable lobbying donations/gifts received from the hunting & shooting lobby.

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Loopholes in the Animal Welfare Act 2006

 The Animal Welfare Act 2006 should protect animals from “unnecessary suffering, when in “the control of man.”

Section 4.1 (a) (b)  :  Unnecessary suffering  (Animal Welfare Act 2006)

(1) A person commits an offence if—

(a) an act of his, or a failure of his to act, causes an animal to suffer,

(b) he knew, or ought reasonably to have known, that the act, or failure to act, would have that effect or be likely to do so,

 

However, under Section 4.3 (a) (b) it states:

Section 4.3 (a) (b) (c)  :  Loopholes. 

(3) The considerations to which it is relevant to have regard when determining for the purposes of this section whether suffering is unnecessary include—

(a) whether the suffering could reasonably have been avoided or reduced;

(b) whether the conduct which caused the suffering was in compliance with any relevant enactment or any relevant provisions of a licence or code of practice issued under an enactment;

(c) whether the conduct which caused the suffering was for a legitimate purpose, such as—

(i) the purpose of benefiting the animal, or

(ii) the purpose of protecting a person, property or another animal;


It’s shocking that a non-legal code of practice on snaring, written by the Hunting & Shooting lobby (BASC), then adopted by the government, could possibly over ride laws on animal welfare if the practice is deemed to be a code regardless of it causing unnecessary suffering.

So now you know why snaring incidents are hard to prosecute under the  Animal Welfare Act 2006.

The problem with the Animal Welfare Act 2006 is, it’s actually a weak piece of legislation to protect animals and is mainly based on guideline for the care of animals. It lacks strength in the handling of animals, acceptable methods of training animals and equipment used. It mainly relies on affiliated sporting bodies to write their own standards and rules.

If a particular cruel practice is accompanied by a code of practice and then adopted by the government, (regardless of any reports or evidence concluding otherwise)  it is then perfectly acceptable to cruelly kill wildlife so long as that code is followed.   
 Absolutely disgraceful.

 Codes of Practice should not be adopted by governments if these are in direct conflict with the Animal Welfare Act.  Also a for voluntary non-legal abiding adopted code to be able to override laws is shocking.


This is another piece of legislation that urgently needs reviewing and strengthening to properly protect animals from abuse and cruelty.

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Summary : Banning Snares in Wales

 

The Welsh Government (Mark Drakeford) is strong in leadership, so any influence by the hunting & shooting lobby and their political supporters, should be treated as circumspect.

 

Wales to a certain extent has its hands tied regarding laws by the Government of Wales Act 2006, as many laws relate to both England and Wales, therefore controlled by parliament,
however,
Wales can propose to ban
unnecessary animal cruelty under (Item 16) Section 14 of the Animal Welfare Act 2006 by writing a proposal White Paper.
 

Wales can set a standard to ban this cruel, unnecessary, sadistic and inefficient practice of snaring.

 

Making proposed changes

Section 14  :  Making proposed changes for Wales (Animal Welfare Act 2006)

(1) Where the National Assembly for Wales proposes to issue (or revise) a code of practice under section 14, it shall—

(a) Prepare a draft of the code (or revised code),

(b) Consult about the draft such persons appearing to it to represent any interests concerned as it considers appropriate, and

(c) Consider any representations made by them.

(2) The Assembly may issue (or revise) a code either in the form of the draft prepared under subsection (1)(a) or with such modification as it thinks fit.

(3) A code (or revised code) shall come into force in accordance with its provisions.

(4) A code (or revised code) may include transitional provision or savings.

 

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Labours Animal Welfare manifesto

 

Animal welfare has always been part of the Labour Party’s manifesto and endorsed by its members. It is why many people who care about animals vote Labour.


Sadly it remains to be seen if Keir Starmer will uphold these values and fully ban foxhunting / snares and all their associated cruelty. Currently he is keeping very quiet about this to not to upset any potential votes from the tory hunting & shooting lobby (wishful thinking as these are die hard tory voters). He hopes to gain the rural tory vote but at what cost?


The conservative government promised a number of animal protection laws in their GE manifesto.
 After the general election, these have either been quietly dropped or legislation produced that is riddled with loopholes that enable the cruelty to continue.


On the other side, we are pleased that Welsh Labour Government (Mark Drakeford) is leading the way on the protection of animals and we congratulate him on disallowing the Badger Cull in Wales.

 

Foxes do not need to be controlled, especially when it’s a case of killing one animal to enable other animals to be killed purely for shooters’ enjoyment. 

 

Snaring is unnecessary and not a humane method of fox control, which is in direct conflict with the Animal Welfare Act 2006.

 Quote : “By ending the war on wildlife on grouse moors we can help unlock our land’s potential, and it will be to the benefit of our people, our wildlife and the environment.”  
 
Max Wiszniewski Campaign Manager for  Revive, the coalition for grouse moor reform

 

Credit to NASC (National Anti Snaring Campaign), HIT (Hunt Investigation Team) and Sab/Monitor groups who have done tremendous work to raise awareness about snaring and bring us evidence.

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Ban Snares Campaign

Please join us by sending the Welsh Government our template letter and signing the petition.


 
Link :  Letter template

 

Petition  :  Ban Snares Petition

By Simon Wild (NASC)

 

We hope you will join and support the campaign.

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