Cruelty protesters’ fury at snare delay

Animal welfare campaigners have claimed it is “absolute nonsense” that a requirement for snare users to undergo training will not come into effect for a year.

The League Against Cruel Sports argued there was “no reason” for the Scottish Government not to bring in the measure sooner. However, a government spokeswoman insisted it was adopting a “sensible step-by-step process”.

The requirement for those using snares to undergo training was included in the Wildlife and Natural Environment (Scotland) Act, passed by MSPs in March.

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While some parts of the act come into force at the start of next month, the legislation does not come into effect until January 2013. Louise Robertson, a spokeswoman for the league Against Cruel Sports, argued: “There is no reason to delay this section of the act further, as snare users have had plenty of time to undergo training and make themselves law-abiding. It is an absolute nonsense.”

However, the government spokeswoman insisted there had “been no delay”.

She said: “This is a sensible step-by-step process for bringing in the new rules. We cannot tell people they must complete a course before telling them what will be in the course.

“We have discussed the content of the training courses with a range of interested parties, including taking advice on the animal welfare element of the course.”