An evidence review will be held into the rules on snares the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs has confirmed.

It follows a renewed campaign by Animal Aid, which is being supported by Wild Moors, League Against Cruel Sports and other wildlife protection organisations, to outlaw the use of the cruel contraptions.

Snares are routinely set to aid the killing of foxes on grouse moors to help ensure large numbers of game birds are ‘preserved’ from predators for sports shooting.

Over 66,000 people have signed an official government e-petition supporting a ban, with celebrities including Chris Packham, Deborah Meaden and Gary Lineker also adding their voice to the campaign.

A spokesperson for Animal Aid said in a statement:

“We have re-launched our government petition calling for a ban on the use of snares. If 100,000 people sign it, we stand the chance of getting a debate in parliament about this issue. It is estimated that more than a million animals, including foxes and badgers, are killed by these horrific devices every year.”

Animal welfare research by Defra has shown that snares cause immense suffering to wildlife which becomes entangled, with animals experiencing exhaustion, injuries and even death as they attempt to escape. According to the study, 75% of animals captured are not the target species, with badgers, hares and even pet cats and dogs being at risk.

In spring 2021, Wild Moors exposed the deliberate snaring of foxes and cats by a top grouse shooting estate in its attempts to stop the animals eating game birds being reared for sports shooting. It followed a fell runner encountering a decomposing pile of animal remains which was being used to lure animals into the snares.

Campaigners also hold concerns that the casual killing of natural predators negatively impacts on moorland ecosystems, with grouse suffering from outbreaks of painful diseases and parasites as a consequence of artificially high populations.

Luke Steele, Executive Director of Wild Moors, said:

“If wildlife is to be given the protection it needs and deserves then Defra must face the facts: snares are inherently cruel and there are no reforms short of an outright ban which can prevent wild animals from suffering in them.

“It’s the 21st century. It’s past time to stop the killing of foxes and other wildlife to increase the numbers of grouse for sport shooting.”

Readers can help protect moorland wildlife by signing Animal Aid’s petition to ban snares at


Notes for editors

Wild Moors campaigns to unlock an area of uplands the size of Greater London from grouse shooting for nature restoration by 2030. By working with communities, companies and governments to solve challenges facing the upland environment Wild Moors acts as a catalyst for creating effective and lasting change.