Concerns over use of illegal snares in East Lothian after rabbit caught in illicit trap

Concerns are growing after illegal snares were spotted in East Lothian.

These photographs are of the actual snares seized, which are self-locking illegal snares picture: Police Scotland

A member of the public was out walking when they saw a rabbit in a snare approximately 150 metres from Futures Way, near Wallyford on Saturday, 20 February.

According to wildlife officers, the type of snare used was a “self-locking” snare which are now illegal to set in Scotland.

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Other types of snares can be used in the countryside, but operators have to carry out special training courses before laying the traps.

In this incident, the rabbit did not survive, and the discovery was raised with Police Scotland.

Wildlife Officer PC Steven Irvine said: “The photographs are of the actual snares seized, which are self-locking illegal snares.

"A number of years ago, people would have used these to catch rabbits, however, these snares are now illegal to set in Scotland and any persons setting or using these snares, should stop immediately as this is an illegal act.

“Anyone wanting to set snares legally as part of land management must have successfully completed a recognised snaring training course, register themselves with Police Scotland and comply with the requirements within the Wildlife and Countryside 1981 Act.

“All snares should be free running, contain stops to prevent severe injury and have tags with the operators ID number displayed on them.”

PC Irvine added: “I would encourage all members of the public who are out walking in the countryside and see these types of illegal snares to report them to Police Scotland via 101 or making a call anonymously to the charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”

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