Snaring in Scotland

Snare against sky‘Umbrella’ law covering snaring in Scotland (you can download our Practioners' Guide here) is the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, as amended by the Nature Conservation (Scotland) Act 2004. Subsequent legislation has focused on animal welfare, training, responsibility and record keeping and can be summarised as follows:

The Snares (Scotland) Order 2010 requires that:

  • Snares must be fitted with a safety stop appropriate for the target species and made free-running.
  • Snares must be fixed in such a way that they cannot be dragged and where the target species will not become fully or partially suspend or drown. Do not, therefore, set snares where there is a risk of entanglement in branches, scrub vegetation or fences.
  • Snares must be checked at least once every day at intervals of no more than 24 hours.

The Wildlife and Natural Environment (Scotland) Act 2011 demands that:

  • Snare users must achieve approved accreditation, receive a personal ID number from the police, and attach an identification tag to every snare when set.
  • Snare operators must keep specific records.

These regulations offer greater clarity to snare users and incorporate key recommendations arising from GWCT research into snares.

The GWCT has helped develop and roll out training in the use of snares in Scotland, along with SGA, BASC and other approved training providers.

If you would like to be added to our course waiting list, please contact our Scottish Headquarters on 01738 551511 or

REMEMBER – It is YOUR responsibility to ensure that all your predator control activities are both legal and humane.

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