The Wildlife & Natural Environment (Scotland) Act 2011 (‘the WANE Act’) made a number of amendments to the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981 (“the WCA”).
The provisions within Section 13 of the WANE Act introduced new requirements for the operation of snares by amending Section 11 of the WCA, particularly with regard to the introduction of training, record keeping and identification tags.
The provisions also introduced the need for establishment of approved training bodies to deliver snare training, and created an administrative role within Police Scotland to maintain records of trained operators.
The changes were implemented in stages between 1st January 2012 and 1st April 2013, and therefore any person who sets a snare in place after the relevant date and fails to comply with the requirements then in force will be guilty of an offence and may be liable to criminal prosecution.
Section 11F of the WCA (as amended) required a review of snaring legislation by 31st December 2016.
Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) was tasked to undertake the Review of Snaring on behalf of Scottish Government.
The report has found that snaring related incidents have reduced and made a number of recommendations for further improvements in the law.
The proposals will further refine snaring practices and components, which will mostly be delivered through the Snaring Code of Practice.
•Implement a time period for updating snare records and reduce the time allowed for producing records to the police.
•Increase the stop position on fox snares to enlarge the noose size to 26cm.
•Increase the number of swivels on fox snares to a minimum of two.
•Introduce the power of disqualification for a snaring offence.
•Consider how a strengthened Code of Practice can be better endorsed through legislation.