Snared by a lobby

Today walking my dog I found two lambs up a hillside, snared by their necks with separate wire nooses round their necks, the snares laid there deliberately. It was a weekend and a sheltered part of the hillside only accessible by foot, so who knows how long they had been there or how long it would have taken someone else to find them if we had not come along. There was no sign of a mother.

I know where many of the snares are up there and they tend to be kept in the same place indefinitely. Last time I was there (some weeks ago) I could see from a distance sheep around the same place, so I walked my dog away from them. They were the only sheep I saw in that hour-long walk, so with hindsight there was probably a very good reason they seemed rooted to the spot.

I would like to show anyone who defends these barbaric practices the cat I found once half dead after being snared. It was estimated it had been trapped for 7-10 days, it was emaciated, could hardly stand, its fur and skin worn bare where it had been trapped.

Never found a fox though

The Scottish government copped out when they decided not to ban wire snares last year. And if I interfered with the snares, that would make me the criminal in the Scottish Government's eyes, not those who were inflicting this needless cruelty.

They believed the strongly organised "sporting" estates lobby that they were necessary to keep down foxes. But the notion that even several generations of uncontrolled foxes could make a dent in the pheasant population here is laughable when we get flocks of pheasants wandering round our backyard and all you would need to catch one (if you were so inclined) is not a brave hunter with more rifles and money than sense, but a mallet and a handful of birdseed.

Coincidentally, today we had to retrive two fawn trapped in the stream by our house, alerted to them by their distressed mother running around. Here the deer are garden pests, and together with the pheasants are road accidents waiting to happen. The explosion in the deer and pheasant population here is due to these same estates who created these unnatural populations in the first place, then boosted them with the help of trying to create an unnatural imbalance in the predator-prey relationship through crude atempts at eliminating foxes and with much else as collateral damage (dumb hunters then partly replacing dumb foxes).

It is usually only those that lay the snares who know the full truth as to what they actually catch, so mostly the public and the govenment have to rely on those vested interests for facts and figures. Well, that's all right then.

The lambs seemed all right when I released them, but that does not guarantee they will stay all right and avoid the snares.

They are not clever and they don't learn quickly, not like foxes.

May 3rd 2009