The Snaring laws in the UK

The snaring laws in the UK are really very simple, its just most people make them much harder then they have to be. When you take what is said and put it into plain English its simple. So lets not mess about and get into it.

The following is from the Wildlife and Countryside act, 1981. Just reworded by myself.

Using Self-Locking Snares is illegal

Self locking snares are wire loop traps that keep tightening even after the animal has been captured. This is of course extremely cruel and can cause a slow and painful death. It is as simple as this. If you set a self locking snare at any point you are breaking the law, even if it has been modified from a free running snare.

You Can Not Set a Snare So That it Will Purposely Cause Harm

Im sure very few people would want to do this anyway, but setting a snare so that it causes harm is against snaring law. An example of this would be using sharp wire or using an electrically charged wire. Just stick to normal traps and you wont be breaking this law.

You Can Not Set Snares for Birds, Dears or Badgers

This is where the snaring laws can be a little confusing. Snares might catch any animal, so its impossible to 100% avoid snaring these animals. So to comply with snare laws you should always be sure to use the correct size of trap so its clear you aren't trying to catch large pray. Also be careful to never set snares near badger warrens or in areas known for its badger problems.

If you are so much as found carrying a dead badger your are breaking the law, so be very careful.

Check your Snares Daily

You must check every trap every day (or have someone else do it for you) or it is classed as cruel. What classifies as daily hasn’t been clearly said but as a rule of thumb you should check your snares well before 24 hours of setting them. Besides, checking them daily means you can reset them and make bigger catches!

Have the Land owners Permission

As with any type of hunting, you need to be authorised person in order to hunt on any given land. When you ask the land owner if you can use their land or not its important to tell them exactly what you plan on doing and how. If you try to mislead or misinform them its possible for them to use it against you.

If you are the land owner you may be asked to provide proof of ownership.


If you use your common sense and keep your hunt as clean and animal friendly as possible you'll be fine. All your really need to know is that you cant hunt birds, dear or badgers, that you must check your traps daily and that self locking snares are a strong breach of the snaring laws. Have fun and good luck hunting!

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