Joyce Watson MS has cheered news that snares and glue traps will soon be banned in Wales.
The Welsh Government had previously announced its intention to outlaw the animal traps. However, specific proposals were not included in its five-year Animal Welfare Plan for Wales, published earlier this month. The omission worried animal welfare campaigners.
At the Senedd on Wednesday, the Labour member for Mid and West Wales asked rural affairs minister Lesley Griffiths to confirm when and if the bans would be implemented. The minister said she hoped to introduce legislation by ‘early summer next year’.
“That’s really, really good news,” Mrs Watson replied, adding:
“We’re talking about cruel devices that kill indiscriminately. They trap birds and animals, they allow them to stay there suffering cruelly, having a very slow, painful death. So I am relieved to hear that you intend to introduce the ban, and what I would like to hear is an outline of that timetable.”
According to the RSPCA, nearly three-quarters of incidents concerning glue traps involve non-target species such as pets and other wild animals.
Hunting groups have opposed banning snares, however, arguing that they help protect livestock and biodiversity.
Lesley Griffiths MS explained the bans would be included in the upcoming agriculture Bill. She said:
“I will be looking to bring it forward in the agriculture Bill, which is in our first-year legislative programme. I am loath to give a month – I tend to use seasons when I say that something is coming forward, but I certainly hope to bring it forward in early summer next year.”
Responding to the announcement, RSPCA’s head of public affairs, David Bowles, said:
“We’re absolutely delighted to hear confirmation that the Welsh Government is pressing ahead with plans to ban the use of snares and glue traps in Wales, after the recent absence of these commitments from the Animal Welfare Plan.
“Sadly, our frontline officers have seen all too often the catastrophic welfare impacts that these devices can have on animals and their welfare. They are indiscriminate, cruel and have no place in modern Wales – which is why RSPCA Cymru has been campaigning for a ban in Wales.
“We’re hugely grateful to Joyce Watson MS for raising this issue, and look forward to working with the Welsh Government and Senedd Members from across the chamber to get a robust ban into law as swiftly as possible as part of the Agriculture Bill; a law we hope will also seek to reward farmers who deliver the highest standards of welfare on their farms.”