Snaring: review - February 2022

Report on snaring legislation, as per the Wildlife and Natural Environment (Scotland) Act 2011 (WANE).

1. Introduction

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[1], 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(2)(a) of the WCA required that a review of snaring legislation be carried out by 31st December 2016 and 11F(2)(b) requires that a further review must be undertaken no later than 5 years within the first review date.

Some of the recommendations from the 2016 Snaring Review have still to be implemented, primarily because of the lack of suitable legislative opportunities over the time period due to an insufficient vehicle for introducing the required legislation. These are:

  • 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.



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