IF you use snares to control foxes, your snares must comply with the requirements of the Welsh Government code of best practice. Fox snaring has a proven track record of preventing localised species’ extinctions and securing wildlife diversity in Wales, including conserving endangered birds like black grouse, curlew and lapwing, as well as safeguarding young farm stock. FUW land use policy officer Bernard Griffiths said: “If you follow the advice in this code you should be operating within the law, however the code is not a training manual, therefore training from approved trainers is recommended.” There are training courses available, which take place in Denbighshire on Tuesday March 7, Builth Wells area, Powys on Wednesday March 8 and Vale of Glamorgan on Thursday March 9. If you’re interested in attending one of these snaring courses you can book your place by contacting: Lynda Ferguson (at the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust, Burgate Manor, Fordingbridge, SP6 1EF) by phone on 01425 651013 or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here are some things you should do if you snare foxes in Wales:
* Obtain a copy of the Welsh
Government Code of best practice on the use of snares in fox control or visit the Welsh Government website.
* Read the code fully and understand it.
* Abide by it. Put the code’s advice into practice and snare only in accordance with the measures the code advocates.
* Check your snares. Use only modern, code‐compliant equipment. Remember ‐ every fox snare set in Wales must comply with the code’s requirements.
Some legal points to be aware of:
1 Snares must be inspected at least once a day while set.
2 It is illegal to use a ‘self‐locking’ snare.
3 It is an offence for a person to cause unnecessary suffering to an animal under their control (this applies to animals whilst held in snares and the means by which they are dispatched.
4 It is an offence to cause unnecessary suffering to a domestic animal.
5 It is illegal to set in position any trap or snare calculated to cause bodily injury to any deer coming into contact with it.
6 It is illegal to set in position any trap or snare calculated to cause bodily injury to any wild animal included in schedule 6 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (currently including badger, polecat, otter, red squirrel, hedgehog and pine marten).
7 If a species given protection under Schedule 6 to the 1981 Act is caught unintentionally and has to be killed on grounds of humaneness because it is badly injured, the burden of proof is on the person who killed the animal to justify their action.
8 Under section 14 of the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981 it is an offence to release or allow to escape into the wild any animal which is of a kind not ordinarily resident in GB in a wild state or included in Part 1 of Schedule 9 to the Act. These animals, which include the grey squirrel and American mink, should be killed in a quick and humane manner.
9 You should dispose of carcasses safely, so they do not cause harm to human health or pollution of the environment.
The snaring course covers:
• Legislation and the new Welsh Government code of best practice
• How to choose your equipment
• Snare preparation
• Selecting snare locations and how to avoid non‐target species
• Humane dispatch of foxes and Release of non‐target animals. The theory element is taught in the classroom, followed by practical tuition outdoors in choosing snaring sites and setting snares.
The addresses of the venues will be forwarded to delegates on booking. All courses run from 10am to 1pm and cost £72 including VAT.
After lunch, delegates also have the option of attending the GWCT corvid cage‐trapping course, which is offered at half the usual fee on these occasions. The cost of attending both courses is £108 including VAT.
The cost includes teas and coffees on the day.
A copy of the ‘Code of Best Practice on the use of snares in fox control’ is also available via the FUW website (fuw.org.uk) or e‐mail email@example.com