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28 October 2014
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Snare Aware

By Cerys Roberts
Nothing is more idyllic than the beautiful Essex countryside in summer, but our countryside hides an ugly secret. Snares- thin wire nooses, banned throughout much of Europe, are legal in the UK, and are taking an enormous toll on wildlife and pets.

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.

last updated: 15/06/06
Have Your Say
Has your pet been unfortunate enough to have been caught by a snare? share your experiences of snares in the Essex countryside.
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lee nash
We live in a remote area in British Columbia in a small town called Hazelton. Our farm is located in a valley called the Kispiox valley. We live in an area where we have many trappers which we have grown up with. That is not the concern. Recently a group of native trappers set up an area where they killed a deer and a moose and tied them to trees and also hung them up in trees to capture lynz and wolves. The result of this was our Kuvasc cross lad guard dog discouvered the bait as it was aproximatley 250 yards from our door step. This resulted in our dog finding the bait being lost for 2 days till she was found, still alive but barely. It is absolutly appaling what has happened as they have their trap line set up on private property. The outcome of our dog is still unknown, but the prognosis is not good. I just want people to be aware that there needs to be guidlines that are reinforced and procedures that need to be followed in order for all animals to be taken care of and most of all respected. Thanks for the opportunity to voice my opion. This set of cicumstances is most appalling and something needs to be done to try and ensure this type of thing doesn't happen.

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