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Snaring Legislation To Come Into Force

23rd November 2012

All snaring operators will need to undergo a training course and to use a unique identification number on their snares under new legislation.

The change in legislation applies to all snares and snaring operators who currently use snares as a means of pest and predator control including farmers, crofters, gamekeepers, and greenkeepers on golf courses.

Snare operators have been able to undergo training courses, which are run by Scottish Government approved bodies, since 2010. From today, a snaring operator who has successfully completed the training course can apply to their local police station for a unique identification number which must be attached to all snares set from April 1, 2013.

Successful completion of the one-day training course will provide an indication that the applicant has sufficient knowledge and experience to use snares responsibly and within the legislative requirements. The identification numbers and tags will make snaring operators more accountable for their actions as the identification number and tag will help identify the individual snaring operator.

Environment Minister Paul Wheelhouse said: The changes in legislation will make snaring operators more accountable for their actions, and along with other measures introduced in the Wildlife and Natural Environment Act 2011 will improve the welfare of those species that are caught in snares.

The requirement for snaring operators to keep records of their snaring activity will also help reduce the number of illegally set snares.

Alex Hogg, Chairman of The Scottish Gamekeepers Association (SGA), said:As one of the Scottish Government approved training bodies, the SGA has been running training courses since 2010 to ensure those, such as gamekeepers, ghillies, stalkers and wildlife managers, who use snares for legitimate and legal predator control, do so responsibly. All those who have taken the courses have shown a real enthusiasm to promote and observe high standards of snaring in the countryside.

It is important people now take heed of this new legislation from Scottish Government and take the appropriate actions to ensure they continue to operate in line with the law and best practice.

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