Ban cruel snares causing untold suffering for tortured cats, dogs and lambs

Cruel snares, which include wire nooses, cause suffering and pain before killing ­British wildlife and even pets, warn animal welfare groups.

Currently legal in the UK, they are used to trap animals, usually foxes and rabbits, which are viewed as pests or threats by ­landowners and farmers.

Animal Aid, which is spearheading a campaign to ban their use, says the snares cause “unimaginable pain”.

The group, which has ­catalogued a damning list of incidents that include badgers, foxes, rabbits, hares, birds of prey, lambs and even cats and dogs in the traps, says they are ­indiscriminate and savage.

It warned: “The wire can cut into the flesh, and depending how long they are trapped, the snare can cut into and damage muscle, deeper tissues and bone.

“Animals have even been known to try to chew off their own limbs to escape.

“Even if an animal does not move once it is caught, this is not good. There is a condition called ‘tonic ­immobility’ which happens when animals are stressed.

“This condition has been described in humans who have been attacked.”

In 2016, a majority of UK MPs voted to ban the manufacture, possession, sale and use of snares outright.

A ­voluntary code of practice was brought in instead, which states that snares must be inspected every day and any animals that are caught should be killed quickly and humanely.

A spokesman for the ­Moorland Association, which represents landowners, defended them saying they are a “necessary and a humane means of controlling foxes which kill a range of vulnerable and rare birds as well as livestock”.

It added that the “code of best practice goes beyond the law” to “ensure the highest animal welfare”.

But Moorland Monitors, a group that campaigns to protect species on grouse estates, said: “We see firsthand the cruelty they cause to pets and wildlife.

“These harsh wires cut into animals’ flesh, causing unbearable pain.

“If the UK Government’s promise in the Queen’s Speech to set ‘the highest ­standards of animal welfare’ is genuine, it cannot allow the use of indiscriminate, unregulated, barbaric snares.”