I have decided to think outside the box and write about a topic which is very much in the media spotlight at the moment, animal cruelty, but in particular snaring.
As my dad has a passion for wildlife i have grown up being introduced to nature and wildlife, in particular birds of prey and badgers. Throughout the many adventures through woodlands and mountain tops i have seen breath taking sights of golden eagles, peregrine falcons, hen harriers, foxes, badgers and red squirrels.
While out in woodland around Carnoustie (Angus) while walking my border terrier with my dad we spotted a fox, it was exciting to see this creature so close. After closer inspection on this fox we realised it wasn't as happy a sight as we first anticipated. Binoculars at the ready my dad examined it realising it was badly injured with scratches all over its face and deep wounds on its neck. We stopped frozen for a couple of minutes wondering what we could do to help it. It was getting dark so we headed back to the car quickly and immediately phoned for help. It turned out that the animal actually had escaped a near by snare and was badly injured as an outcome of this. I'm not too sure what the outcome was but that image will stay with me. It disgusts me why these torture devices aren't banned.
After further research i discovered that they are not only dangerous for foxes and rabbits... but for much larger creatures like badgers and even domestic pets like dogs and cats.
this female badger was almost cut in half by a snare. Her cub died of starvation, while waiting to be fed.
'Snares are thin wire nooses that are set to trap any animal perceived to be a pest or threat. The primitive design of a snare silently garrotts its victims and often leads to a painful and lingering death. Commonly used by gamekeepers to catch foxes and stoats, many mammals including rabbits, voles, protected badgers and even domestic pets are caught, seriously injured and killed in snares.'
A pet dog has been killed by a snare. The six year old cocker spaniel, suffered immeasurably before he was found with a wire snare embedded into his neck. 'Harvey’s owner John Buchan, a retired consultant solicitor from Gask, near Crieff, described how he found his beloved pet dog with his tongue out the side of his mouth where he had bitten it off.' This shocked me as the animal must have been in so much physical and mental stress and pain that it used as much force to bite its own tongue off. It had been hanged yet these 'pest control devices' are legal.
Design of a snare
Snares are normally classed as either a self locking snare which are illegal or a free running snare which are legal. Many free running snares can easily become self locking snares as shown below.
Dual purpose snare- set as self locking, Illegal
Dual purpose snare - set as free running, Legal
Free running snare - Legal.
1. A self-locking snare is a wire loop device which continues to tighten by a ratchet action as the animal struggles. Its aim is to catch the victim around the neck, so that they die through strangulation or by dislocation of the neck. Is isn't always the case as numerous animals get their legs caught which results in the breaking down of the bone as the noose is forced tighter, this may result in the animal gnawing of its own limbs to escape.
2. A free-running snare is a wire loop restraining device which relaxes when the animal stops pulling and a self-locking snare is a wire loop device which continues to tighten by a ratchet action as the animal struggles.
'Advocates for animals protest' in 2008 outside the Scottish government in Edinburgh and Princes street. This is a very powerful message as animals don't have voices to speak out. They put people in these snares to create impact and to make people understand what is going on. Personally i didn't see this 'exhibition protest' but i think it really shows the message well and gets through to people... I hope all snaring is soon banned as its barbaric and cruel.
(recommend you turn your volume down a little for the video!)