Scottish Animal Welfare Commission - trapping of terrestrial wild mammals using snares: position paper

A position paper from the Scottish Animal Welfare Commission (SAWC) on the live trapping of terrestrial wild mammals and using snares for lethal control in Scotland.


Wild mammals and birds are known to be sentient and capable of experiencing pain and other negative sensations. Any traps that do not instantly kill or render them irreversibly unconscious are likely to impact their welfare. Therefore, the use of snares in the lethal control of terrestrial mammals raises significant welfare concerns. Non-target species caught in snares will also suffer and may die, often very slowly. Neonates and juveniles may starve to death, if traps catch an adult on which they are dependent within their breeding season.

SAWC concludes that snares cause significant welfare harms to members of both target and non-target species.


SAWC recommends that the sale of snares and their use by both public and industry are banned in Scotland, on animal welfare grounds.




The Scottish Animal Welfare Commission Secretariat
Animal Health and Welfare Team
P-Spur, Saughton House
Broomhouse Drive
Edinburgh EH11 3XD

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