Snaring: Labour weak on wildlife issues

For immediate release 4 April 2011

Greens welcomed today's announcement from the Labour Party that they would eliminate snaring, but the party pointed out that no progress on this issue was made over the eight years Labour were in power at Holyrood. More than three quarters of Scots oppose snaring, which is used as a substitute for proper rural estate management. SNP Ministers blocked moves to bring a snaring ban in as part of the Wildlife and Natural Environment (Scotland) Bill, legislation passed last month, just as Labour Ministers did in 2004. Greens support a complete ban on snares, and are committed to seeing this move introduced in the next session of Parliament.

Eleanor Scott, co-convenor of the Scottish Greens, said:

"It's great to see some movement from Labour on this issue, but Greens spent eight years in Parliament trying and failing to persuade a Labour-led administration to do the right thing here, and we're frankly sceptical about their commitment now. In fact, when I proposed this very change in Committee in 2004 every other party voted against it.

"Snaring is a cruel and indiscriminate substitute for proper rural estate management, and both Labour and the SNP have struggled to free themselves from the influence of the snaring mafia. A strong group of Green MSPs in the next Parliament will be the best guarantee that this brutal practice is ended forever."

Eleanor Scott proposed an amendment in 2004 to ban snaring and received no support from Labour or SNP. The current legal status is set out here.