A dead fox has been found in a snare in the Narberth area – with RSPCA Cymru suspecting illegal activity.
The animal welfare charity was contacted after a member of the public found the dead fox at a fence on farmland near the village of Llawhaden on Saturday 4 May.
RSPCA Cymru is opposed to the manufacture, sale and use of all snares or any trap which causes suffering. Snares are cruel and indiscriminate in what they catch – and the animal welfare charity supports an outright ban in Wales.
Officers believe the circumstances in which the device was used to be illegal.
Sadly, the fox was also found dead in the snare – suggesting the device had not been checked. Under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, those setting a snare must check the device “at least once every day at intervals of no more than 24 hours”.
The setting of a snare also requires the authorisation of the landowner – but, in this instance, the owner of the farm land reports no such consent was gained. The snare was also set by fencing – despite the Welsh Government’s voluntary code of best practice on the use of snares in fox control noting that snares should never be set “under or near fences”.
Anyone with information is urged to contact the RSPCA’s inspectorate appeal line, with the charity labelling the fox the “latest animal likely to have suffered at the hands of a snare”.
RSPCA inspector Keith Hogben said: “This fox was found dead in this snare. It must have been a horrible ordeal for the poor wild animal.
“It was set at a fence on farmland, near the village of Llawhaden – in a manner I do not believe compliant with the law, nor the Welsh Government’s code of practice for the use of snares in fox control.
“We strongly suspect this snare was set in illegal circumstances. The dead fox suggests necessary checks were not done, while the landowners say they did not give authorisation for the snare being set.
“It is so important anyone setting a snare ensures it complies with the law. It doesn’t appear this was the case here – and the poor fox has died in potentially miserable circumstances.
“Ultimately, RSPCA Cymru opposes the sale, use and manufacture of these devices. This fox is the latest animal likely to have suffered at the hands of a snare – and we’re eager to find out exactly what has happened.
“If anyone has information about this incident, they’re urged to contact our inspectorate appeal line on 0300 123 8018.”
The public are also urged never try to and free an animal from a snare or trap – due to risk of injury to the human and animal, while it could also be an offence if the animal was legally caught. Many animals caught by snares are more seriously injured than many may think, so it is best that they are examined properly to see if they require veterinary treatment. People instead should stay back to avoid stressing the animal and call the RSPCA with the location on the charity’s 24-hour emergency line, 0300 1234 999. Advice is also available on the RSPCA’s website.