Lawmakers are set to debate proposals made by wildlife protection organisations to ban the use of snares, Westminster announced on Friday.

The call to ban snares will be debated by MPs on Monday 9 January in Westminster Hall after over 100,000 people signed a government e-petition to outlaw the cruel contraptions. 

Snares are anchored loops of wire cable designed to catch foxes around the neck and restrain them until the operator comes to kill them. 

At the foundation of the issue is their widespread use on shooting estates as part of a relentless, year-round campaign to eradicate wild animals which prey on grouse, pheasants and partridges, which are fired on in shoots.

Luke Steele, Executive Director of Wild Moors, said: If wildlife is to be given the protection it needs and deserves then the government 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.

“With a debate now scheduled to be held in Westminster Hall we strongly encourage MPs to attend to speak in favour of stopping the capture and killing of foxes and other wildlife using snares.”

Some of the UK’s leading wildlife protection organisations, including Wild Moors, Animal Aid and the League Against Cruel Sports, have rallied together in a bid to get snares outlawed.

With MPs set to hold a debate in Westminster in January pressure will now likely increase on Ministers to act, with Defra having already said that an evidence review will be held into the rules on snares “in due course”. But campaigners say the evidence is already available to demonstrate that a ban is needed.

Animal welfare research by Defra has already shown that snares cause immense suffering to wildlife which becomes entangled in them, with animals experiencing exhaustion, injuries and even death as they desperately 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 from the indiscriminate devices.

The Welsh government introduced draft legislation to the Senned in October to outlaw snares after Rural Affairs Minister Lesley Griffiths said “they are not compatible with the high animal welfare standards we strive for”. Meanwhile, in Scotland the government is currently consulting on potential measures to address snare use snare as part of its bill to reform the practices used on grouse shooting estates.