Scotland snaring ban would be a “catastrophic blow” to threatened bird species

Scotland snaring ban would be a “catastrophic blow” to threatened bird species

A decision by the Scottish government to ban the use of snares would prove to be catastrophic to threatened bird species in the country including the iconic capercaillie.

BASC Scotland put forward proposals for the retention of modern snares as part of the Scottish Government’s recent consultation on an outright ban on snares in Scotland.

In a letter seen by BASC today, Minister Gillian Martin says she would be proposing a full ban on snares without the inclusion of a licensing system. Her decision would need to be voted on by the Scottish Parliament and comes despite a full draft licence scheme being produced by a range of rural stakeholders.

Just yesterday, the Rural Affairs and Islands Committee hosted a session on the use of snares in Scotland, where BASC’s head of game and wildlife management Glynn Evans gave evidence on their use and their importance as a conservation tool.

BASC Scotland director Peter Clark said: “The Minister’s proposal clearly shows the Scottish government’s direction of travel on this and the ban appears to be a foregone conclusion.

“This would be a catastrophic blow to all threatened bird species and predator control across Scotland.

“Gamekeepers’ and practitioners’ evidence has been ignored, and the Scottish Government has not even carried out an impact assessment on biodiversity or the rural economy ahead of this ban.

“Yet again we see decisions being made without full consideration of practitioners’ genuine and well-evidenced concerns.

“The Scottish government has fundamentally ignored the evidence and if the Scottish parliament votes this through, it will have abandoned its responsibility to reverse the fortunes of Scotland’s iconic threatened species, such as the capercaillie.”