A Scottish Government report has found that snaring related incidents have reduced but is making recommendations for further improvements in the law.
The new proposals seek to further refine snaring practices, which will mostly be delivered through the Snaring Code of Practice. These include:
•Implement a time period for updating snare records and reduce the time allowed for producing records to the police;
•Introduce the power of disqualification for a snaring offence;
•Changes to fox snares including enlarging the noose size to 26cm and increase the number of swivels to a minimum of two;
•Consider how a strengthened Code of Practice can be better endorsed through legislation.
Welcoming the report, Cabinet Secretary for the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Roseanna Cunningham said: “The review has highlighted that the legislative changes made to snaring regulations in 2011 appear to be working satisfactorily.
“However, I recognise there is room for further improvement in line with the findings of the review.
“We will consider the proposed changes to legislation and ask Scottish Natural Heritage to take forward work to revise the Code of Practice in line with the recommendations in the review.”
Alex Hogg, from Peebles, chairman of The Scottish Gamekeepers Association added: “We are pleased to hear the independent Review Group’s findings that the number of snaring incidents in Scotland have fallen to statistically very low levels.
“As an approved body, the Scottish Gamekeepers Assoviation has trained a significant proportion of those legally permitted to operate snares in Scotland, in accordance with best practice and the tougher regulations brought in under the WANE Bill.
“We will now work with Scottish Government and SNH to develop an updated Code of Practice.”