Snaring: review - February 2022
Report on snaring legislation, as per the Wildlife and Natural Environment (Scotland) Act 2011 (WANE).
2. Scope And Approach Of Review
The scope of the Review of Snaring is defined under Section 11F of the Wildlife and Countryside Act as:
11F Snaring: review and report to the Scottish Parliament
(1)The Scottish Ministers must carry out, or secure the carrying out by another person of, a review of the operation and effect of—
(a)section 11 and any orders made under that section (in so far as the section and the orders make provision as regards snaring);
(b)sections 11A, 11B, 11C, 11D and 11E and any orders made under those sections.
(2)A review must be carried out under subsection (1) no later than—
(a)31st December 2016 ("the first review date");
(b)the end of the period of 5 years beginning with the first review date; and
(c)the end of each subsequent period of 5 years.
(3)In carrying out a review under subsection (1), the matters that must be considered include whether in the opinion of the Ministers (or, if the review is being carried out by another person, that person) amendment of this Act or enactment of other legislation is appropriate.
(4)In carrying out a review under subsection (1), the Scottish Ministers (or, if the review is being carried out by another person, that person) must consult such persons and organisations as they consider (or, as the case may be, the other person considers) have an interest in it.
(5)The Scottish Ministers must, as soon as practicable after a review is carried out under subsection (1), lay a report of the review before the Scottish Parliament."
Prior to the first Snaring Review undertaken in 2016, a Review of Snaring Group (Review Group) was established by SNH to oversee the Review of Snaring.
In order to facilitate an objective review of snaring, the Review Group included only key government bodies involved in snaring. The Review Group comprised representatives from Police Scotland (enforcement remit), Crown Office Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS - prosecution remit), Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture (SASA - technical remit), Scottish Government (SG - legislative remit) and SNH (lead).
The Review Group identified three key elements to conducting the Review of Snaring in relation to sections 11 to 11E of the legislation:
1. Assessing efficacy of the legislation (sections 11 and 11B-E WCA);
2. Review snare training, and assess the effectiveness and compliance with the administrative procedure for obtaining snaring ID (section 11A WCA);
3. Consider any evidence of outstanding animal welfare implications in relation to snaring and whether these are sufficiently addressed through the provisions under section 11 WCA.
Extending the Remit of the Snaring Review
During General Question Time at the Scottish Parliament on 25 November 2021, the Minister for Environment, Biodiversity and Land Reform, confirmed in response to a question from Colin Smyth MSP in relation to the Grouse Moor Management Review Group recommendations, that the Scottish Government would extend the scope of the snaring review to include a potential ban on snares in Scotland.
Position in the rest of the UK and Europe
Snares are already banned in many European countries. They are permitted in England, Northern Ireland and Wales, subject to certain conditions laid out in their applicable legislation. Scotland currently has the tightest restrictions on snaring in the UK.
The Welsh Assembly announced in their 2021-2026 Programme for Government that they will introduce a Ban on Snares during the course of this parliamentary term.
The UK Government have also announced that they will issue a call for evidence on the Use of Snares in England.
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