Page last updated at 15:24 GMT, Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Scottish ministers maintain snare ban opposition

Fox caught in a snare
Opponents say snares cause to much animal suffering

The Scottish government has maintained its opposition to a complete ban on animal snares.

The move came as MSPs quizzed Environment Minister Roseanna Cunningham about calls from welfare groups to outlaw the wire traps.

Ministers have said an effective method to control predators, such as foxes, was vital.

The Scottish Parliament's petitions committee is considering a banning call on behalf of several groups.

League Against Cruel Sports, Advocates for Animals, the International Otter Survival Fund and Hessilhead Wildlife Rescue have all called for Holyrood to urge ministers to bring in new legislation which would prohibit the manufacture, sale, possession and use of all snares.

Supporters of a ban said animals such as badgers and mountain hares were suffering horrible injures and death after being caught in snares.

Despite rejecting a ban, measures have been introduced to strictly limit the use of snares and ban those capable of inflicting unnecessary suffering.

Ministers said the control of predators through snares, helped to maintain Scotland's world-famous shooting industry, boost conservation and help farmers in protect their animals.

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