Photo: a decomposing mountain hare in a snare

In light of this week’s test court case about whether it’s legal to snare mountain hares (the Lochindorb Estate trial), a contributor has sent in this topical photograph. It shows a decomposing mountain hare that had been caught in a snare on another well-known grouse moor and left to rot.

In Scotland, it is a legal requirement for snare operators to check each of their snares at least once a day at intervals of no more than 24 hours. It is an offence to fail to release or remove an animal, whether alive or dead, while carrying out such an inspection.

It is clear that an offence had been committed in this instance. The contributor says the recent incident was reported to the police, who initially failed to respond. When a follow-up request was made, and cc’d to the local MSP, the police did respond and claimed they then visited the estate, armed with a grid reference, but couldn’t find the corpse. A police investigation into alleged hare snaring on the estate was not forthcoming.

The snaring legislation in Scotland has been recently updated, bringing in new requirements for snare-operator training & accreditation, snare-operator ID tags to be fitted to snares, and record keeping for every single set snare. GWCT has produced a snaring guide (2012) that provides detailed information for snaring in different parts of the UK – see here. OneKind has it’s own view on the adequacy of the snare-training courses on offer – see here.


7 Responses to “Photo: a decomposing mountain hare in a snare”

  1. 1 Paul Risley
    August 2, 2012 at 4:14 pm

    Absolutely sickening waste, also worrying that none of the alleged swarms of Buzzards haven’t found it, no Fox, Eagle or even Crow have fed off it. Very sad.

  2. 2 Marco McGinty
    August 2, 2012 at 5:24 pm

    Very good points, Paul, but the game estates will probably claim that it has been planted by someone opposed to such barbaric practices.

  3. 3 Mik. Kenney
    August 2, 2012 at 5:51 pm

    It might be legal, but it shouldn’t be.
    This kind of thing , and the the people who set them have no place in today’s society.

    • 4 Dougie
      August 3, 2012 at 8:27 am

      100% correct – those who do such things have never managed to drag themselves out of the dark ages.
      I cannot see how they have a place in a civilised society.

  4. 5 Circus maxima
    August 2, 2012 at 7:20 pm

    Strange that the countryside professionals….who for decades have claimed that they know what they are doing…are all having to attend training courses on how set and manage snares. Could be that they are not that professional after all?

  5. 6 Chris Roberts
    August 3, 2012 at 11:06 am

    Wouldn’t it be terrible if we didn’t have these countryside professionals. Instead of all the acres of unatural bare heather burnt hills, the natural caladonian forest would recover. The red deer could then return to their natural habitat. Wild cats, pine martins, capercailli, badger and fox would co-exist in a vastly expanded habitat as they did through out the centuries, without fear of being trapped or shot at.

    Red kites, golden and white tailed eagles and all other birds of prey could re-colinise the highlands where they are now absent. Wildlife and other tourisim would far outway the loss of the few priveliged blood sport killers.

    Perhaps it is best that we have these ‘guardian’s’ of the countryside, to protect us from all that is natural.

  6. 7 Stewart Love
    August 3, 2012 at 7:12 pm

    Sporting estates still think they are in victorian times when the common folk new there place and did not interfere with the way the managed there estates. It is time they came into the modern world, where “common folk” care about the wildlife and more and more of them are visiting the countryside to walk, take photos, cycle and enjoy the wildlife. The majority of ordinary people will not put up with wildlife being trapped, shot , poisoned for any reason and eventually these so called “Sporting estates” will have to stop the killing and start taking people into the hills and glens to see, photograph the wildlife that is on the estate. I would think if it was done correctly that estates could make as much profit from Stalking and photographing wildlife as they do in killing it. Och maybe I am dreaming but everything moves on and changes and it is obvious that these “Sporting Estates” need to change sooner rather than later.

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