Hare-snaring decision ‘as important as precedent it sets’, animal charity says

Scottish Natural Heritage will stop issuing licences to snare mountain hares in the Scottish Highlands
Scottish Natural Heritage will stop issuing licences to snare mountain hares in the Scottish Highlands

Animal protection charity OneKind has welcomed a decision by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) that will effectively end the snaring of mountain hares.

SNH has announced the decision to stop issuing licences to snare mountain hares across the Scottish Highlands.

It was made as part of a wider review of the impact of snaring regulations introduced under the Wildlife and Natural Environment (Scotland) Act 2011.

The findings of the review stated: “Concerns have been raised with SNH over the welfare impacts of snaring hares to the effect that it is difficult to advise on a method of snaring that does not cause unnecessary suffering – that they cannot be used effectively as a killing trap because animals take too long to die and are not effective as a restraining means because there is too high a risk of killing or injury.

“The lack of any apparent means or guidance to avoid this means that SNH will not be minded to issue licences unless the contrary can be evidenced.”

Harry Huyton, director of OneKind, said: “This decision is hugely significant because it effectively sets an ‘unnecessary suffering’ test for wildlife management practices.

“This week’s report appears to be the final nail in the coffin for this cruel practice, as far as mountain hares are concerned, but just as important is the precedent it sets.”

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