The Government consider that, where there is a need for wildlife management, the proper use of snares is one of a range of control methods. Used according to best practice, snares can be an effective and practical means of wildlife management and are needed where other forms of pest control are ineffective or impractical. In these circumstances, snares restrain rather than kill and may prove to be more humane than other methods. If snares were to be banned entirely it might encourage the use of more dangerous and illegal alternatives such as poisons.
The Government are committed to working to improve the legal use of snares. Following an informal consultation on snares and traps and their use, carried out in 2003, Defra convened an independent snares working group chaired by the Universities Federation for Animal Welfare. The Group was given a remit of producing a good practice guide and advising Defra on the next steps on improving the use of snares. On 19 October 2005, we published the Group’s report, together with the Defra Snares Action Plan and the Defra Code of Good Practice on the use of Snares in Fox and Rabbit Control in England. These documents are available on the Defra website at: