Snares and weapon transfers
Fox and rabbit control in Scotland is necessary. This is to make sure damage to crops, livestock, trees, game and other wildlife and their habitats can be reduced. This will keep Scotland’s unique rural biodiversity.
Snaring is vital to achieve this in Scotland. This is due to the country's diverse landscape and types of cover.
Snaring has many legal restrictions. When done legally it is an effective and humane form of control.
Snaring is a lawful way of controlling foxes and rabbits providing they are constructed the right way.
They should also be set by authorised people in a correct way. This will reduce the chance that non target species are caught.
Some vital information:
- Snares must be free running and checked at least once a day within a 24 hour period
- If a snare is found not to be free running it should be removed or repaired
- Non-target animals should be released
- Snares used for foxes must have an effective safety stop 23cm from the running end
- Snares used for rabbits must have an effective safety stop 13cm from the running end
- Snares must be firmly anchored by staking to the ground or attaching to an object to prevent the snare being dragged by an animal caught in it.
It is an offence to set snares in places where captured animals are likely to be fully or partially suspended or drown.
The Wildlife and Natural Environment Act (Scotland) 2011 has a number of provisions that will affect the use of snares in Scotland:
- From 1 April 2013, anyone who sets a snare in position must have an identification number
- Anyone who sets in position or otherwise uses a snare must ensure:
a) that a tag is fitted on the snare that can't be easily removed
b) that there is displayed on the tag (which will remain readable) the identification number of the person who set the snare
c) where the snare is intended to catch the following types of animal-
i) brown hares or rabbits or
Applicants will attend at a local police station with –
- Completed application form (Parts A and B), the form is attached at the bottom of this page or you can get it from a police station
- Valid Snaring Certificate
- £20.00 fee
- Valid photographic ID (Driving Licence/ Passport etc.)
- Passport style photograph.
People who wish to apply at a Police station for a snaring registration number will need to show a certificate from an authorised body. This will show that they have received the appropriate training and will show they can use snares.
The following bodies are authorised by the Scottish Government to train practitioners in predator control:
- Borders College (borderscollege.ac.uk/)
- British Association for Shooting and Conservation (basc.org.uk/gl/scotland/)
- Elmwood College (elmwood.ac.uk/home)
- Game & Wildlife Conservation trust (www.gwct.org.uk)
- SRUC (www.sruc.ac.uk) (formerly the Scottish Agricultural College)
- Scottish Association for Country Sports (www.sacs.org.uk)
- Scottish Gamekeepers Association (www.scottishgamekeepers.co.uk)
- The North Highland College (www.northhighland.uhi.ac.uk).