Self-locking snares have been banned since 1981, but the use of free-running snares is permitted. Animals are, however, protected from unnecessary suffering under the Animal Welfare Act 2006, and this includes any caught in snares.
In 2008 the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs commissioned research to determine the extent of the use and humaneness of snares in England and Wales. This was published in March 2012. After considering its findings Lord de Mauley, who was at the time the Minister responsible for policy on wildlife management, held constructive meetings with people who use snares and those opposed to them. He made it clear that both sides must work together to help end irresponsible snare use.
It is encouraging that Ministers are working with these groups to agree a means of monitoring compliance, and to consider improvements to the Code of Practice on the use of snares. I hope all sides will contribute to this work so that there is a marked improvement in the use of snares.