Snares Order (Northern Ireland) 2015

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 2:45 pm on 3rd October 2016.

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Photo of Michelle McIlveen Michelle McIlveen DUP 2:45 pm, 3rd October 2016

The Member may recall from his role on the Environment Committee that there was a commitment to place further restrictions on the use of snares. That commitment was to be achieved through the snares order, which was subject to affirmative resolution. The order was laid in October 2015, however the Assembly's approval was not sought during the previous mandate to bring the legislation into force.

I intend to complete the legislative process, which will require a revised order due to the timescale involved since the previous order was laid and the subsequent new Assembly structure. That approach will ensure complete transparency in the process.

I am conscious that many organisations and individuals see the use of snares as inhumane treatment of wild animals. Indeed, some would like them banned altogether. However, there is a need to protect farm animals, game birds and other species from predators, such as foxes, at certain times of the year. The use of snares provides an effective and practical means of providing that protection. I feel that the additional safeguards in the snares order should help to negate the concerns of those opposed to the use of snares, as the additional restrictions are intended to reduce suffering.