The Welsh Government is preparing to press ahead with a ban on snares as part of a bid to protect the nation’s wildlife.

The plan to introduce a ban on snares via the Agriculture (Wales) Bill has received support from the influential Economy, Trade and Rural Affairs (ETRA) Committee, with the majority of its members backing the move in a report released today.

Snares are anchored loops of wire cable designed to catch foxes around the neck and restrain them until the operator comes to kill them. The majority of snares are set on sports shooting estates in a bid to prevent game birds being preyed on.

Wild Moors was one of a number of organisations which submitted evidence to the ETRA committee’s consultation in November, setting out the ways snares harm wildlife and calling for a complete ban on their use.

Responding to the committee report, Luke Steele, Executive Director of Wild Moors, said: “Snares are inherently cruel and there are no reforms short of an outright ban which can prevent wild animals from suffering in them. We welcome the recommendation made by the ETRA Committee for the Welsh Government to press ahead with a ban.”

Animal welfare research by the UK government found 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.

Official figures from the study have also shown that 75% of animals captured in snares are not the target species, with badgers, hares and even pet cats and dogs being at risk from the indiscriminate devices.

Speaking about the legislative approach being taken in Wales, Minister for Rural Affairs Lesley Griffiths has previously said: “Wales will be the first country in the UK to introduce a complete ban on the use of snares. These devices catch animals indiscriminately, causing a great deal of suffering, and they are not compatible with the high animal welfare standards we strive for here in Wales. A complete ban is the only way forward.”

The snare ban is expected to be voted on in the Senedd over the coming months.