New proposals to tighten current laws on the use of snares in Scotland are going out for consultation.
It is claimed some snares cause unnecessary suffering
There are concerns some devices, which are currently permitted, can cause unnecessary suffering to wild animals if misused.
Views are being sought on whether there should be an outright ban or if new measures making it easier to trace snare owners go far enough.
The closing date for the consultation is 28 February.
Deputy Environment Minister Rhona Brankin said: "I am committed to protecting Scotland's rich and diverse wildlife and ensuring that our wild animals are treated humanely.
"The use of snares to trap wild animals is an emotive subject and I know a lot of people feel very strongly about how it should be regulated.
"This consultation gives them an opportunity to help shape modern laws to help deal with modern land management issues.
"I encourage everyone with an interest in Scotland's valuable natural heritage to make their views heard over the next 12 weeks."
Ross Minett, director of Edinburgh-based Advocates for Animals, told the BBC Scotland news website: "All snares are unnecessary, indiscriminate and can cause terrible suffering.
"Advocates for Animals will continue to campaign for a complete ban on the manufacture, possession, sale and use of snares in Scotland.
"It is to our shame that Scotland remains one of a small minority of countries within the EU that still allow these barbaric devices to be used.
"If the Scottish Executive really wants to help stop suffering caused to wild animals then it will introduce a complete ban on all snares in Scotland at the earliest opportunity."
The British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC) said most of the proposals would give formal, legal basis to good snaring practice.
However, BASC's James Scott warned that plans to add identification tags to each snare would not prevent anti-snaring campaigners from copying tags and illegally setting snares.
He added: "It is also concerning that the consultation document is fairly negative in tone about the future of snaring in Scotland."