Q&A: Vermin

Q3 CMYK The Relax-a-lock snare eye - not all ‘locks’ are self locking12

I want to make my own fox snares but am unclear which snare eyes are legal to use.

John says: The snare eye is the sliding part of the mechanism, which forms the noose and moves along the wire when the snare tightens. The law states that snare eyes must be free running – that is, able to move backwards to slacken the noose as easily as it moves forwards when it tightens. Self-locking snares work like a ratchet tightening but not releasing and these cannot be used in any circumstances. Confusingly, some makes of acceptable snare eyes from the USA have ‘lock’ in their name, such as the Katz Brothers ‘Relax-a-Lock’, while other self-locking eyes might not, so you need to choose your snares or components carefully. Snares must also have a stop on them, 23cm or greater from the eye. This is a legal requirement in Scotland and part of the Code of Practice for the rest of the UK. This stop prevents the snare from tightening beyond a fixed point. This reduces the risk of strangulation of a properly captured animal and stops the snare from tightening around the leg of one which is foul caught.

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