The snares, instruments of mediaeval torture, are set by gamekeepers and landowners to catch, they claim, foxes and rabbits. What they don’t like to admit is that they also trap and maim badgers, otters, cats, dogs and even ponies, indeed any creature unfortunate enough to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Like most people, I was totally unaware until recently when I heard a tragic story of a much loved family pet, Archie, an obedient young spaniel, killed by a snare after straying from a footpath whilst being walked by his owner. Archie was found dead in the snare two hours later. His frantic struggle to escape caused the snare to cut deeper and deeper into his neck. He was lucky to have died relatively quickly; animals, their limbs or bodies severed, can survive for days in unimaginable pain.
Having lived in a small farming hamlet, just outside Great Dunmow, for almost 30 years, I am determined to do everything possible to end this barbarity in our countryside. That’s why I am involved in the League Against Cruel Sports’ campaign to rid the countryside of this silent killer.
I have spent the last month making a short film showing how easily animals fall prey to snares. It’s going to be screened at summer festivals across the country, including Hesfes, near Colchester, The Big Green Gathering, The Portobello Film Festival and Bestival on the Isle of Wight. Later in the year it will get cinema distribution, which is very exciting.
“Snare Aware” information stalls are being set up in towns across the country to let people know what is happening. We want the UK, a nation of animal lovers, to follow the example of Europe and outlaw this appalling killing and maiming. Our demand is simple – ban snaring now. You can catch us in Covent Garden on 17 June and we will be holding Snare Aware roadshows in Essex later in the summer.