The Impact Of Snares On Animal Welfare Onekind-Books Pdf

The Impact of Snares on Animal Welfare OneKind
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Executive summary,Introduction,Evaluation of killing and restraining traps. Killing traps,Restraining traps,Assessment of injuries. Behavioural and physiological responses,Testing of restraining traps. Killing procedure,Background information,How snares work. Exertional myopathy due to snaring,Studies of snares and foxes.
Studies of snares and rabbits,Non target animals, Injuries to non target animals and to animals that escape. Killing of animals caught in snares,Sentience awareness and suffering. Conclusions,Acknowledgments,References, Appendix Assessment of snaring incidents provided by OneKind. Executive Summary and Conclusions, The lack of data on snares makes it difficult accurately to assess their impact on the welfare. of target and non target species Nevertheless having searched the scientific literature and. summarised the main findings this review can make the following statements. Snares do not operate humanely either as restraining or as killing traps. The mortality and morbidity of animals caught in snares is higher than with most other. restraining traps such as box traps, Snares are inherently indiscriminate and commonly catch non target including.
protected species, Snares can cause severe injuries pain suffering and death in trapped animals target. and non target species, Stopping of snares may not prevent injury or death in trapped animals target and non. target species, The free running mechanism of a snare is easily disrupted and likely to fail resulting in. injury pain suffering and death in trapped animals target and non target species. Animals can legally be left in snares for up to 24 hours exposing them to the elements. to thirst hunger further injury and attack by predators. It is difficult to assess the severity of injury in an animal when it is caught in a snare. Animals that escape or that are released may subsequently die from their injuries or. from exertional myopathy over a period of days or weeks. The monitoring of correct snare use is difficult if not impossible. Neck snares are open to abuse because they are cheap and require minimum effort to. set and maintain, Methods used to kill animals caught in snares are not regulated and may not be. The use of neck snares is seen as the least favourable option and the least humane of all. legal trapping methods by the public, It is clear that we should assess the welfare of vertebrate pest animals however undesirable.
their impact on humans in the same way as we assess the welfare of any other vertebrate. animal Vertebrate pest animals have the capacity to feel pain fear and to suffer just like. any other vertebrate animal Whenever control methods are considered their effects on. the welfare of these animals should be taken into account In some cases a cost benefit. analysis is a reasonable approach to take where the real adverse effects of the pests are. compared with the extent of poor welfare of the pest animals that a control method would. cause Broom 1999 However some pest control methods have such extreme effects on an. animal s welfare that regardless of the potential benefits their use is never justified. Sand e et al 1997 Broom 1999 Snaring is such a method. Introduction, Historically concerns for the welfare of animals have focused on the large numbers kept for. food production used in scientific research housed in zoos and more recently kept as. companion animals In contrast the control of wild animals considered as pests or vermin. has focused on methods to kill as many animals as cheaply and as efficiently as possible with. little if any consideration of the negative impacts these control methods may have on their. welfare Recent scientific publications however have drawn attention to this anomaly and. identified the need to consider the welfare of these animals too Kirkwood et al 1994. Broom 1999 Broom 2002 Mason Littin 2003 Littin Mellor 2005 Littin 2010 Yeates. 2010 Societal attitudes towards this killing are also changing While the need to control. pest animals is recognized and generally accepted public concerns require that the control. methods should be humane Broom 1999 Broom 2002 A questionnaire study of the. different methods used to manage foxes red deer brown hares and mink revealed that. practitioners such as farmers and gamekeepers and the public regarded snaring as one of. the least acceptable means of control White et al 2003. Despite a growing body of research aimed at evaluating different methods to control certain. wildlife species the impacts of many of these methods on the welfare of the target and. non target animals remain largely unknown or poorly described Many pest control. methods currently used throughout the world are considered to be inhumane yet are often. used to kill very large numbers of animals Mason Littin 2003 Sharp Saunders 2008 A. number of reasons have been proposed to explain why the suffering of animals subjected to. pest control methods has not received much attention Broom 1999 Mason Littin 2003. Littin 2010 They include, Once the animal has been labelled as vermin or a pest there is less concern for its. Pest species are viewed as a nuisance so there is less regulation of their control. The species is not highly valued or is specifically vilified e g the fox. The trapping and death of the animal is not seen by the general public as it usually. occurs outdoors often at dawn dusk or at night and in relatively remote locations. The fate of target and non target animals that escape from traps or other devices is. usually not known, The harm done to the animals is considered justified on the basis of the harm and. potential harm that they do although the extent of this harm is often exaggerated. not defined or not quantified, The harm done to the animals is considered to be less than that which can occur. naturally in the wild, The term humaneness is described as the quality of compassion or consideration for others.
people or animals http www wordreference com definition humaneness and humane. as marked or motivated by concern with the alleviation of suffering. http www wordreference com definition humane When used in relation to animals. humane is often taken to mean inflicting the minimum of pain Concise Oxford Dictionary. and this is the normal meaning of the word when humane slaughter of farm animals or. humane killing of companion or laboratory animals is referred to in legislation or codes of. practice A humane control method is best defined as having little or no negative effect on. the animal s welfare and an inhumane method as having a significant negative effect on the. animal s welfare such that it is considered unacceptable and or cruel The term humane. killing means that the welfare of the animal just prior to the initiation of the killing. procedure is good and the procedure itself results in insensibility to pain and distress within. a few seconds Broom 1999 When evaluating the humaneness of a control method its. effects on all animals non target as well as target should be considered Mason Littin. 2003 Iossa et al 2007,Evaluation of killing and restraining traps. Since snares can act as restraining and as killing traps a brief summary of trap. characteristics and assessment is presented below The detailed assessment of mechanical. properties of traps is described in two documents published by the International. Organization for Standardization ISO one for killing traps ISO 1999a and another for. restraining traps ISO 1999b Despite efforts by the ISO no consensus could be reached on. key thresholds for animal welfare standards such as time to unconsciousness for animals. caught in killing traps or levels of injuries for animals in restraining traps Nevertheless the. ISO standards are an important step towards improving the welfare of wild animals. subjected to trapping Iossa et al 2007 Other legislation includes two international. documents signed by the European Union the Agreement on International Humane. Trapping Standards signed between the EU Canada and the Russian Federation. Anonymous 1998 and the Agreed Minute between the EU and the USA on humane. trapping standards see Harrop 2000 Since the initial main aim of these Agreements was to. facilitate the trade of fur among participant countries many commonly trapped European. mammals such as the fox and rabbit are not included Iossa et al 2007 The International. Humane Trapping Standards Agreement lists criteria that killing and restraining traps should. meet for a limited number of species Anon 1998, A review of animal welfare standards of killing and restraining traps can be found in Iossa et. al 2007 The review found that few studies have evaluated the humaneness of neck snares. in the same way as has been done for other types of restraining traps When neck snares. are set correctly serious injuries are purported to be relatively uncommon though mortality. of trapped animals is higher than with leg hold snares or with box cage traps Injuries from. snares such as pressure necrosis of tissues can be difficult to detect because they may not. be obvious until several days after an animal is released The authors note that while neck. snares are commonly used in the UK because they are cheap and require minimum effort to. set and maintain reports of misuse are frequent Even when neck snares are set and used. correctly they commonly catch non target species and these can have high morbidity and. The review concludes that the lack of data on the use of snares makes it difficult to assess. their welfare impact A similar review by Harris et al 2006 recommends that the use of. neck snares should be banned,Killing traps, The humaneness of traps that are designed to kill is usually evaluated on the basis of the. time it takes for the trap to render an animal unconscious and insensible to pain most often. measured by the loss of the palpebral blinking reflex A commonly used criterion for a. humane trap is that at least 80 of animals become unconscious and unable to recover. within three minutes e g in the Agreement on International Humane Trapping Standards. between the EU Canada and the Russian Federation Anon 1998 Another criterion often. used in North America is that a killing trap must render at least 70 of animals unconscious. and unable to recover within three minutes Powell Proulx 2003 Many studies have used. these criteria when assessing killing trap performance However they would not be. considered to indicate a humane slaughter standard for any farm companion laboratory or. zoo animal, The documents that set criteria fail to address what happens to the remaining 20 or. fewer of trapped animals who take longer to die Even if the criterion of 80 is met the. killing method cannot be considered to be humane if the remaining animals experience a. lingering and painful death with very poor welfare Failure to consider what happens to this. group of animals is a serious omission that must be rectified before a killing method can be. considered humane Killing traps should be developed that are able to kill as close to 100. of animals as possible and as there now exist traps that are able to kill some species in. much less time than three minutes this criterion should be changed in accordance with. technological advances Harris et al 2006, No trapping method is completely species specific and certain including endangered.
species may be caught injured and killed in killing traps set for other species Iossa et al. 2007 recommend that the welfare performance of killing traps should include three. additional measures likelihood of escape of injured animals percentage of misstrikes and. trap selectivity This approach is more comprehensive and likely to be a more accurate way. of assessing killing traps,Restraining traps, It has been argued that setting performance criteria for killing traps is easier than setting. performance criteria for restraining traps because time to insensibility and death is. relatively easy to define compared with the injury pain anxiety fear and stress that may be. experienced by animals restrained in a trap over a period of time Powell and Proulx 2003. However the application of animal welfare science allows the comprehensive assessment of. the effects of restraining traps on the welfare of trapped animals. Assessment of injuries, The humaneness of restraining traps is most often assessed by the extent of the physical. trauma caused by the trap to the captured animal and injury level is equated with welfare. severe injury poor welfare Scoring systems for injuries are ubiquitous in the literature. Olsen et al 1986 Onderka et al 1990 Phillips et al 1996 Hubert et al 1997 ISO 1999b. However there is much criticism of such systems because a quantitative injury score is not a. direct measurement of an injury level nor of the level of suffering that is likely to be. associated with such injury The application of a scoring system requires decisions on. several levels of increasing abstraction from the actual physical injuries Engeman et al. 1997 and injury data do not directly inform on the severity of pain or suffering experienced. by the animal Rutherford 2002, The presence of obvious physical tissue damage indicates that pain is likely to be present. and this can provide a starting point for other methods of assessment However there is a. variable relationship between injury and pain Wall 1979 injury can occur without pain and. pain can occur without injury Tissues within the body differ in their sensitivity to pain In. addition without a post mortem examination by a veterinary pathologist damage to. internal organs e g congestion haemorrhage or organ rupture and other less obvious. injuries may be missed, The ISO methods for testing restraining traps 1999b which rely on the scoring of injuries. are considered by some researchers to be the best currently available scoring system for. assessing the humaneness of restraining traps Harris et al 2006 They improve on earlier. injury scales in three ways they have a larger number of categories incorporating. examination of all body areas including areas previously not covered e g ocular injuries. they advocate examination of injuries by veterinary pathologists thereby reducing any. individual bias and being international standards they allow for better comparative. assessment Nevertheless they have the following failings. they do not incorporate behavioural or physiological responses as measures of. they do not account for the compounding effect of multiple lesser injuries. some injuries receive a low or moderate injury score but are capable of causing. severe pain e g permanent tooth fracture with exposure of pulp cavity. the pathology protocol states that radiography is optional which may lead to some. luxations and fractures being missed in the injury scoring. they do not take into account for how long the injury is present before the animal is. they do not require testing of traps with non target animals. they do not take into account the long term impact of some injuries in animals that. escape or in non target animals that are released, they do not give guidelines on how to avoid capture of non target species.
they do not provide guidelines on how animals whether target or non target once. caught in restraining traps should be killed, Criteria for injuries sustained by animals in restraining traps were not set by the ISO but a. draft ISO agreement indicated that no more than 20 of tested animals could have an injury. score of 75 or greater Talling JC personal communication This again raises concerns about. the welfare of up to 20 of animals restrained in traps who may sustain severe injuries. such as limb amputation or spinal cord damage or die from their injuries Even for animals. with scores of less than 75 injuries such as eye lacerations or tooth fracture exposing the. pulp cavity which receive 30 points each ISO 1999b are likely to cause considerable pain. Baumans et al 1994 This criterion would not be considered to indicate treatment that. would be humane for any farm companion laboratory or zoo animal. When the ISO standards on trap testing were developed snares were excluded from. consideration as there was disagreement among delegates as to whether they were. restraining or killing devices As a result it has been argued that the list of physical. indicators of poor welfare included in the ISO standards is only marginally relevant to. snares and that a check list of injuries likely to result specifically from restraint in snares. would be more appropriate Murphy et al 2009, Relatively few studies of restraining traps have used the ISO guidelines to score injuries e g. Shivik et al 2000 Woodroffe et al 2005 Darrow et al 2008 Mu oz Igualada et al 2008. 2010 Other models to assess the humaneness of pest animal control methods have been. developed NAWAC 2000 Sharp Saunders 2008 but they have not yet been widely. The extent of injuries and distress experienced by a trapped animal is strongly influenced by. the length of time it is restrained in the trap A long restraint time is a factor in the. development of dehydration Powell 2005 Marks 2010 starvation effects of exposure e g. hypothermia and capture myopathy see further It can also cause stress by disrupting. natural behaviour and motivational systems Sch tz et al 2006 Sharp Saunders 2008. Females may be prevented from returning to their offspring who will subsequently die of. starvation Current guidelines state that restraining traps should be checked at least once. every 24 hours but this may be too long and lead to considerable worsening of welfare for. most animals Powell Proulx 2003 recommend that restraining traps should be checked. at least twice daily and more often if weather conditions are poor. Behavioural and physiological responses, There is currently no established scoring system for restraining traps that integrates physical. injuries with behavioural and physiological responses Some argue that interpreting such. responses is too complex in view of our lack of knowledge of normal behaviour and. physiology and responses to stress in the majority of the wildlife species and the. considerable difficulties in obtaining these data Powell and Proulx 2003 Talling van Driel. 2009 Others Broom Johnson 1993 Broom 2007 Marks 2010 argue that injury scores. alone do not inform us sufficiently on the animal s welfare and that additional data can and. should be collected, We believe that the assessment of the effects of traps including snares on the welfare of. an animal is not complete without integration of behavioural and physiological responses. with physical effects The welfare of an animal may be poor even if it has not been injured. for example if it is extremely fearful but cannot hide or escape or if it is exposed to low. temperatures without having access to shelter Humane traps should not only minimise. physical injury but also the behavioural and physiological responses that indicate poor. welfare The measures likely to be the most relevant practicable and useful for evaluating. the welfare of animals caught in snares are listed in Table 1. Measure Examples, Health extent of body damage physical injuries effects of.
exposure e g freezing of extremities, Behaviour activity levels immobility postural changes vocalization. digging pacing chewing lunging self mutilation other. escape behaviours and behaviours indicative of anxiety. distress fear pain and other negative feelings, Physiology levels of cortisol and other hormones in the blood levels of. muscle enzymes in the blood levels of blood cells as. markers of the stress response e g neutrophils markers. of the inflammatory response e g acute phase proteins. markers of exposure or food and water deprivation e g. changes in haematocrit or blood proteins heart rate body. temperature, Species Number of Percentage Number with Percentage. animals of total, Table 1 Measures to evaluate the welfare of animals fatal injuries with fatal. in restraining traps,animals injuries,Badger 99 37 58 59.
Fox 47 17 5 28 60, Hunger pain anxiety fear social isolation and other stimuli elicit stress responses and. Hare 28 10 22 79, from the magnitude of these responses inferences can be made about the animal s welfare. Cat 31 11 5 4 13, Behavioural responses to acute pain include postural changes escape and avoidance. Deer 26 10 19 73, hiding vocalization licking or rubbing directed towards the painful focus and defensive. Rabbit 16 6 11 69,behaviours,Dog such14as aggression Sanford.
5 et al 1986,5 Rutherford 2002 36 Animals may show the. Other flight response,8 due to3 stimulation of the. 6 sympathetic nervous,75 system and,catecholamine,Total release Cattet et100. 269 al 2003 with behavioural,153 signs57such as defaecation and. urination aggression and attempts to escape Powell 2005 Marks 2010 Physiological signs. include pupil dilation changes in blood pressure increases in heart and respiratory rate. and changes in body temperature and muscle tone Broom Johnson 1993 Stress. responses due to stimulation of the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal HPA axis are often. quantified by measuring levels of glucocorticoids muscle enzymes proteins and. inflammatory cells in the blood changes in heart rate and body temperature and immune. function Kreeger et al 1990 White et al 1991 Cattet et al 2003 Sch tz et al 2006 Marks. Exertional or capture myopathy a pathological condition characterized primarily by damage. to muscle tissues is brought about by physiological changes usually following extreme. muscular exertion and stress Hartup et al 1999 It can affect both mammals and birds and. is usually seen following short intensive bursts of activity involving the large muscle groups. The condition may develop over a period of days after the event and signs include. depression muscular stiffness lack of coordination paralysis metabolic acidosis and death. which can occur up to 2 weeks later Conner et al 1987 Montan et al 2002 Exertional. myopathy may develop as a consequence of being caught in a snare Hartup et al 1999. Cattet et al 2008, Fear is an emotional state associated with negative feelings and is therefore a sign of poor.
welfare Fear responses are either a preparation for danger or a reaction to detectable. danger It is difficult to cope with fear and as with pain the extent of the difficulty gives. information about how poor the welfare of the individual is Fear may be associated with. freezing behaviour tonic immobility escape attempts digging lunging aggression. activity of the HPA axis and heart rate elevation Broom Johnson 1993 It is recognized. that there are important species and individual differences in behavioural responses to fear. For example tonic immobility is a fear motivated defence mechanism employed by some. prey animals such as the rabbit after other strategies have failed While it serves to limit. injury and provide the possibility of escape this behaviour is an indicator of extreme fear. McBride et al 2006,Testing of restraining traps, The ISO standards require that restraining traps are tested with target animals in the field. This can lead to considerable operational challenges so initial tests may have to be. performed in pen trials using captive animals especially if measures of behaviour and. physiology form part of the assessment However pen testing is an artificial setting that is. unlikely to recreate the range of conditions that occur in the field Proulx et al 1993 Some. species when restrained in snares and field tested may struggle for longer than when. tested in a pen Talling JC personal communication The experimental setup or the. presence of a human observer may have a profound effect on the species under. investigation to a greater extent than on domestic animals For example anti predator. related activity in a wild animal may be absent or reduced in a pen trial but present in a field. trial Proulx et al 1993 Extrapolating knowledge about behaviour and physiology from. domestic or even captive wild species to wild free living species may not be valid and. could lead to traps failing in the field A more useful approach may be to combine pen trials. with field trials or to reserve pen trials only for new traps where little is known about their. performance,Killing procedure, The benefits of having a humane trapping system to capture an animal are countered if the. method subsequently used for killing it is not humane All the events around the killing. procedure must be considered when evaluating humaneness such as how the trapped. animal is approached the amount and type of physical handling if any it receives the. killing method and how rapidly and reliably death ensues The same consideration should. apply for trapped non target animals if they are to be killed If the decision is made not to. kill the non target animal additional factors to be considered include how the animal is. examined for injuries how decisions are reached whether to seek veterinary attention or to. release it and monitoring of its subsequent fate if it is released All these factors must be. considered when evaluating the humaneness of restraining traps as a pest control method. but few studies have been carried out in this area. Background information, There is also a distinct lack of evidence with which to inform the debate on the humaneness. of snares as restraining traps Much of the information in this review comes from the. Independent Working Group on Snares report IWGS 2005 reviews by Harris et al 2006. and Iossa et al 2007 and articles in the scientific literature Almost all of these publications. describe research that has been carried out outside the UK and usually outside Europe on. species other than the fox or rabbit There is more literature on leg hold traps and leg. snares often spring powered than on neck snares and more on spring powered neck. snares than on traditional neck snares, For this review two studies were found that describe the use of neck snares as restraining. traps in foxes Frey et al 2007 Mu oz Igualada et al 2010 and only one article was found. about the use of traps in wild rabbits Hamilton Weeks 1985 Another study evaluated. two types of spring powered cable restraint devices as well as cage traps for trapping foxes. Mu oz Igualada et al 2008 Marks 2010 examined the haematological and biochemical. responses of red foxes to different capture methods and shooting and whether they could. assist in determining relative welfare outcomes The capture methods studied were treadle. snares spring powered leg hold snares spring powered padded foot hold traps cage traps. and netting The effects of operator skills intrinsic properties of the snare itself field. conditions abundance of target and non target animals and other effects on snaring. outcome have hardly been studied or quantified at all. Additional information on snares comes from websites that campaign for or against the use. of snares in the UK or more specifically in Scotland The results of a research project on the. extent of use and humaneness of snares in England and Wales are eagerly awaited This. research is being undertaken by the Central Science Laboratory and the Game and Wildlife. Consultancy Trust and is funded by the Department for the Environment Food and Rural. Affairs Defra It is due to be completed before the end of 2010. The UK is one of a small number of countries in Europe that permits the use of snares Of. those EU countries which permit snare use some have a more stringent regulatory regime. than in the UK Scottish Executive Environment Group 2006 A number of organizations and. charities present guidelines on the use of snares on their websites e g the British. Association for Shooting and Conservation BASC the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust. GWCT Detailed advice on how to construct and place snares can also be found on field. sports and hunting websites such as http www thehuntinglife com index html Defra has. produced a Fox Snaring Code of Practice Defra CoP 2005 Snares are used primarily to. catch red foxes and rabbits and to a lesser extent brown hares mink rats and grey squirrels. For Scotland the Snares Scotland Order 2010 sets the following requirements which must. be complied with when using snares, Snares must be fitted with effective stops fixed no less than 13 cm from the running.
end of the snare to catch leporidae and fixed no less than 23 cm from the running. end of the snare to catch foxes, The action of each snare must be checked every day and at least once every 24 hours. to ensure that it is free running If it is not free running then it must be removed or. A snare must be staked in place or fixed to an effective anchor to prevent the snare. being dragged, Snares must not be set in places where it is likely that snared animals could drown or. suspend themselves fully or partially such as watercourses ditches or fences an. animal caught in a snare set by a fence may attempt to escape by climbing over the. fence and end up suspended, A snare must be checked every 24 hours to deal with any trapped animal and to. ensure that it is still free running However it may be difficult for trappers to find. every snare especially if many have been set the snares may be set over a large. area and ground cover or poor weather conditions may make detection difficult so it. is likely that a proportion of snares will be missed and not inspected every 24 hours. Because snares have a low capture rate many will be redundant increasing risks to. non target animals and the trapper may not feel that it is feasible to check every. snare that has been set While it is an offence to fail to release or remove an animal. whether alive or dead from a snare during the course of inspection if snares are. missed animals may be left in snares for days weeks or longer They will eventually. die from their injuries from the consequences of restraint or be killed by predators. Because snares to catch foxes can be set at any time of the year they may catch. pregnant or lactating vixens with severe consequences for the welfare of their. offspring In general snares for rabbits can also be set at any time of the year. although in some regions restrictions may apply,How snares work. Neck snares have a wire loop that is set for the animal s head to enter as the head moves. forward the loop tightens Foot snares which are used much less commonly are placed. horizontally and are designed to close upon the animal s leg s in order to restrain it Powell. Proulx 2003 In both cases the snare should be anchored to stop the captured animal. from escaping with it IWGS 2005, Snares should be free running and have a stop While a free running snare is supposed to.
loosen when the animal stops pulling against it a self locking snare will not However the. free running mechanism is easily disrupted and prone to failure For example any kink. twist rusting fraying or entanglement of the wire in vegetation or branches may prevent. the snare from being free running IWGS 2005 Frey et al 2007 McNew et al 2007 Murphy. et al 2009 A swivel is thought to help prevent this but in practice a swivel placed near the. anchor point of the snare can become jammed with vegetation and fail to work In a study. by Murphy et al 2009 where badgers were trapped in stopped restraints 62 of restraints. after use had some degree of twisting unraveling or fraying and damaged restraints were. associated with an increased risk of injury Swivels are not traditionally used in rabbit snares. but the reasons for this are not known IWGS 2005, There are numerous examples which show how free running snares become self locking. and contribute to the death of the animal e g http www onekind org get. involved campaigns snare free http www badger org uk. http www scottishspca org campaigns 45 snaring although it is not clear how. frequently this happens Self locking snares are prohibited under the Wildlife and. Countryside Act 1981 because their ever tightening action can lead to severe injuries due to. crushing ischaemia lack of blood supply and necrosis of tissues as well as death by. asphyxia However there is no legal definition of the term self locking IWGS 2005. The fact that the snare is free running may be irrelevant if the animal does not show the. behavioural response of ceasing to pull against the snare once caught Some species or. individuals may react to being trapped with the flight or fight response and struggle against. the snare or bite and chew on it or on the body area that is caught Kreeger et al 1990. found for foxes caught in unpadded and padded leg hold traps that the mean proportion. of time spent physically resisting the trap in an 8 hour period was 18 and 13. respectively Fear of attack by predators may also motivate the animal to struggle against. the snare or in the case of females the need to return to their offspring Depending on the. animal s behavioural response to entrapment a free running snare may not help to prevent. or minimize injury, A stop on the snare is set so as to prevent the wire loop from tightening to less than a. certain diameter However there is likely to be variation in size of the target animal Frey. 2007 The body size of adult foxes varies with sex and also between regions and different. organisations give different recommendations regarding stop position and minimum loop. diameter IWGS 2005 Mu oz Igualada et al 2010 While a stop on a neck snare may be set. to prevent injury to the neck of a trapped animal it may not prevent injury if the animal is. caught by another part of the body such as the chest or abdomen which has a larger. diameter than the neck Injuries can be particularly severe when the snare is caught. diagonally across from the shoulder to the axilla Murphy et al 2009 A stop may prevent. injury in the target species but not in the non target species if it differs in size or. behavioural response to restraint There will also be variations between species and. between individuals in the amount of subcutaneous fat in different parts of the body and. this too will influence the severity of injury that a snare can cause. In a study of the effectiveness and selectivity of neck snares Guthery Beasom 1978 65. coyotes and 60 non targets were snared with snares that had a swivel but no stop Snares. were checked daily Fifty nine percent of coyotes were caught by the neck and the. remainder by other parts of the body flank leg and neck foot Of the catch 52 of. animals were dead and 48 were alive though some of the animals were moribund The. authors concluded that the characteristics of snares make them less humane than other. predator control methods This study illustrates a the severe impact on welfare that snares. can have if they do not have an effective stop b the high proportion of non target animals. that may be caught and c that while snares may be set to catch animals by the neck they. frequently catch them around other body parts,Exertional myopathy due to snaring. While reports of exertional myopathy in carnivores are few it has been documented in. species such as the North American river otter Hartup et al 1999 and a free ranging grizzly. bear that died approximately 10 days after being captured for a period by a leg hold snare. Cattet et al 2008 It was not possible to determine whether exertional myopathy was the. primary cause of death in the bear Comparison of serum enzymes with those of other bears. captured by leg hold snares suggested that it was not a cause of mortality in this species as. bears with higher blood enzymes indicating more severe muscle injury survived. Nevertheless exertional myopathy causes pain and suffering Cattet et al 2008 and. together with other factors may contribute to the death of an animal It is not known if. foxes or other animals that escape from snares suffer from exertional myopathy although. this is likely if the animal struggles vigorously for short bouts over a prolonged period of. time before escaping In a study of foxes trapped in foot snares elevations of muscle. enzymes were suggestive of exertional myopathy but were not supported by other findings. such as myoglobinuria and muscle necrosis on necropsy Kreeger et al 1990 In another. study to determine the cause of morbidity or mortality in 51 red foxes from the south. eastern United States the cause of death in one fox was stated as capture myopathy but. further details were not provided Little et al 1998. Studies of snares and foxes, A survey of veterinary practices Scottish Wildlife Crime Officers wildlife rescue and. protection agencies and Scottish SPCA Inspectors was carried out by the Scottish SPCA in. July 2007 Scottish SPCA 2007 These groups were all involved in the treatment of animals. or in wildlife crime enforcement They were asked whether they had dealt with an animal. that had been snared since the 2004 amendments to snare use by the Scottish Parliament. Of those who responded 59 32 said that they had encountered an animal that had been. snared Of 269 snared animals there were 47 foxes and 60 of them had fatal injuries. Table 2 These data were collected prior to the Snares Scotland Order 2010 and may not. reflect current practice, The British Association for Shooting and Conservation Game Conservancy Trust Joint Snares.
Trial 1994 1995 JST was designed to compare a new type of neck snare with existing. snares As the new variety of snare performed no differently from those normally used by. the participants a self selecting sample of gamekeepers data from these snare types were. combined and used as a single source of information on snaring by the IWGS In the JST. 73 of foxes held in snares n 284 were alive and without externally obvious injury while. 27 were dead There were differences of opinion among operators as to whether snares. should be used to kill or to restrain foxes As these data were collected over 15 years ago. they may not represent current practice, Mu oz Igualada et al 2010 tested traditional and new cable restraint systems to capture. red fox in central Spain Two different non powered cable restraint devices were used the. traditional Spanish Snare SS and the Wisconsin Restraint WR The SS is authorized for use. in Spain is commonly used is made from multi strand steel cables that end in a simple loop. and includes a stop that prevents the snare from closing smaller than 8 cm in diameter The. WR is built with a 180 degree bend relaxing type lock on aircraft cable and incorporates 2. swivels a break way S hook and a stop that prevents the loop from closing to less than 6 54. cm in diameter The WR is the most similar to the snares recommended by the Defra CoP. for catching foxes in the UK, Two methods were used for placing restraints The first was based on a traditional Spanish. approach using an alar a structure constructed from a 1 000 m linear pile of brush and. branches Gaps were opened in the alar at 10 m intervals and a restraint set in each gap SS. snares were anchored to a branch within the alar and stabilized with a wood stick and WR. snares were anchored into the ground with a stake and supported with wire The loop. height above ground level was 20 cm for all restraints In the second restraint placement. method WR snares were set in fauna trails using wire supports and anchored with stakes. They were set far enough from fences or rooted woody vegetation to prevent. entanglement SS snares were not set in fauna trails because a previous study found high. mortality due to risk of entanglement All devices were checked once daily in the morning. Captured foxes were killed with a captive bolt to the head frozen and eventually necropsied. by a veterinary pathologist Injuries were scored in accordance with internationally accepted. scoring procedures ISO 1999b For both snares in all settings an average of 35 of fox. captures were around the body rather than the neck Overall injuries were similar for all. snaring methods and capture loop placement suggesting that the addition of swivels and a. break way hook did not improve the performance of the snare Of 64 foxes one was dead. two had severe internal organ damage internal bleeding one had joint luxation at or. below the carpus or tarsus two had major subcutaneous soft tissue maceration or erosion. three had fracture of a permanent tooth exposing the pulp cavity and four had major. cutaneous laceration Overall 9 4 of animals had indicators of poor welfare by ISO criteria. severe injury For how long these animals suffered from these injuries was not known but. could have been for up to 24 hours as the snares were checked once daily Other measures. of welfare besides injury scores were not collected. Frey et al 2007 examined the use of neck snares to live trap foxes for study Traps were set. in a way that would reduce trauma to captured animals for example they included a. swivel and a stop that prevented the snare from closing to smaller than a circle diameter of. 10 12 cm Snares were checked once daily in the early morning Of 21 snared foxes two. had severe injuries on external examination the snares caused deep damage to their. throats these foxes were bigger than expected Another fox was found dead one month. after capture overall mortality was 14 The authors noted the potential for foxes to wrap. the snare line around trees and woody vegetation during trapping and that this could cause. bodily harm to the fox Sixteen foxes were followed with radio telemetry for 3 to 28. months While the capture procedure did not appear to affect the foxes ability to. reproduce and raise young most of the estimated home ranges for neck snared red foxes. did not encompass the snare location The authors suggest two reasons for this firstly the. foxes might have been caught while investigating the status of another territory and. secondly the red foxes may have been avoiding the snare location after their negative. experience, White et al 1991 documented the physiological responses of captive raised red foxes to. capture in box traps and compared them with the responses reported by Kreeger et al. 1990 for untrapped foxes and foxes caught in padded and unpadded jaw leg hold traps. Foxes caught in a box trap demonstrated a pronounced stress response indicated by. elevated cortisol adrenocorticotrophic hormone increased leucocyte counts and in some. cases adrenal and renal congestion with acute lung haemorrhage A similar but more severe. response was found in leg hold trap caught foxes The authors concluded that foxes that are. restrained by a limb undergo more trauma than foxes caught in box traps Psychogenic. factors such as fear and differences in the intensity of exertion e g pacing for box trapped. foxes and digging for leg hold trapped foxes were thought to be responsible for the. differences in response to the two trap methods, Marks 2010 found that foxes trapped in treadle snares spring powered leg hold snares. had similar haematological and biochemical responses to those found by Kreeger et al. 1990 for foxes caught in leg hold traps Higher levels of indicators of possible muscle. damage exertion and dehydration were found in foxes trapped in treadle snares compared.


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