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

I thank the Member for his question. Obviously, if the order is not actioned, we will have the status quo. The current levels of protection, which are beneficial, will remain, but they are limited, including, for example, the requirement to inspect set snares once every 24 hours. The additional restrictions that the order would bring, such as snares having to be fitted with permanent safety stops, are, I feel, required. The purpose of a stop is to prevent the noose closing too far and inflicting damage to the caught animal, particularly through strangulation. I imagine that this and other restrictions would be welcomed by responsible landowners and those who see snaring as an indiscriminate means of pest control. I do not find the status quo acceptable.