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22nd March 2024

Cats Protection says Scotland’s ban on snares is a turning point for animal welfare and will prevent cruel and horrific deaths being inflicted on pets and wildlife.

The UK’s largest cat charity has been campaigning for an outright ban on snares throughout the UK and says it is delighted Scotland is taking a step forward to protect cats and other animals from unnecessary suffering with the Wildlife Management and Muirburn Bill.

Alice Palombo, Advocacy & Government Relations Officer for Scotland at Cats Protection, said: “The introduction of this law is an important day for animal welfare in Scotland, and will put an end to the cruel and horrific deaths that snares inflict on pets and wildlife. 

“Whether it’s domestic pet cats, feral or community cats, or any other animal captured in them, snares cause incredibly distressing injuries, often leading to animals suffering long, painful deaths. Those animals which do manage to free themselves, or are found and released, cannot be considered lucky as they will most likely suffer life-changing injuries requiring extensive veterinary treatment.

“We are delighted that Scotland has introduced an outright ban on snares, recognising the indiscriminate suffering they cause. These outdated, inhumane and cruel traps have no place in a modern, caring society.”

The Bill was also welcomed by cat owner Marion Brownlie, of Aberdeenshire, whose pet cat Harry was found collapsed in a field with horrific injuries last year. 

Harry’s injuries were so appalling that she at first believed he had been “cut in two” when he was discovered close to his home in St Cyrus. 

It is thought the ginger-and-white moggy may have been trapped in the snare for five agonising days before he was able to drag himself to safety.

Having confirmed his injuries were caused by a snare, vets carried out surgery to repair a deep wound running from hip to hip across Harry’s abdomen. He was later able to return home but needs to be confined to a cage for rest during his recovery. 

Marion said: “Harry had been missing for five days when we found him collapsed in a field and it was like something from a nightmare – I was afraid to pick him up as it looked as though he’d been cut in two. He must have been in agony, but somehow he was still alive and after lots of veterinary treatment and rest he pulled through. 

“No animal deserves the pain and suffering that these inhumane devices inflict, and I’m incredibly relieved that they have finally been banned.”

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