Landmark legislation prohibiting the use of snare for trapping and killing foxes and other wildlife has come into force in Wales.

The Welsh government says the move marks an “historic day for animal welfare”.

Rural Affairs Minister Lesley Griffiths said “The use of snares are incompatible with what we want to achieve.

“Many animals will now be spared the most terrible suffering as a result of this ban. I’m proud Wales is the first of the UK nations to introduce such a move.”

Snares are set on grouse moors to catch and aid the killing of foxes which prey on game birds reared for sports shooting. However, there are many instances of other animals including hares, badgers and even pet dogs and cats becoming entangled and injured in the indiscriminate wire nooses.

The ban on snares has been widely welcomed by wildlife protection organisations including Wild Moors, the League Against Cruel Sports, Animal Aid and the RSPCA.

Campaigners are now urging the Welsh government to now turn its focus to tackling other harmful practices being carried out in the nation’s moorland shooting estates including the burning of carbon-rich peatlands, illegal bird of prey persecution and the use of other types of mammal and wild bird traps.

Luke Steele, Executive Director of Wild Moors, said “We are pleased the ban on snares introduced by the Welsh Government has now come into force in a historic UK-first. We hope this will be the first of a series of measures to tackle the damage being inflicted on the nation’s wildlife and rich natural heritage by game bird shooting.”

(Image credit: Hans Veth)