Wales has introduced the first total ban on the use of snares and glue traps in the UK.

Rural Affairs Minister Lesley Griffiths announced the ban today (Tuesday, September 26) and said it will come into force on October 17, 2023.

From this date, the use of snares and glue traps will be illegal in Wales, and anyone found guilty of using a snare could face imprisonment or an unlimited fine or both.

The Welsh government said this is to help prevent “indiscriminate suffering” to animals.

Griffiths said: “The use of snares and glue traps are not compatible with the high animal welfare standards we strive for here in Wales. These methods can cause a great deal of suffering and harm to all animals.

“The banning of snares is a Programme for Government commitment and we have been working towards this day for a long time with partners and stakeholders. 

“Many animals, including those which were not the intended target of the snare, will be spared suffering as a result of this ban.”

Griffiths said banning snares is about preventing “inhumane methods” being used, and does not prevent predator control using other methods.

“There are also many more humane ways to control rodents than through the use of glue traps,” she said.

“I’m pleased Wales is leading the way on this issue, and we will continue to strive for high animal welfare standards.”

Snare and glue trap ban

The Welsh government said snares cause a great deal of suffering to animals and are indiscriminate, as they harm species they are not intended for such as otters, dogs and cats.

“An animal caught in a snare can endure acute pain and suffering,” the government said.

“Similarly glue traps cause suffering to the trapped animal, including the rodent it was intended for and other animals such as cats. 

“If pets such as cats are caught in a glue trap it can tragically lead to the animal being put to sleep as a result of the injuries sustained.”

The Welsh government said that, while rodent control is “essential where prevention has failed”, more humane and targeted methods are available in place of snares and glue traps.