Thousands of people have signed a petition condemning the use of snares for catching animals on the Norfolk Estate in Arundel.
“We started collecting signatures in Arundel this summer after being contacted by two dog owners who had their dogs snared on the estate,” said Simon Wild, founder of the National Anti-snaring Campaign, who is also concerned over the estate’s badger population.
The petition, with 2,000 signatures, was presented on Monday to Peter Knight, estate manager for the Norfolk Estate, which is owned by the Duke of Norfolk.
Two dog owners got the ‘shock of their life’ when they found their dogs had been snared, according to Mr Wild, who describes snaring on the estate as ‘prolific’.
Snaring is legal in the UK providing certain conditions are met.
These include that the snares used are free-running (as opposed to self-locking) and are not placed with the intention of causing harm to a Schedule 6 protected animal, which includes badgers.
Both snare types are restraining devices formed from a wire loop. However free-running snares relax when an animal stops pulling whereas self-locking snares continue to tighten as the animal struggles.
Paul Dendle, Arun district concillor for Arundel and Walberton, praised the estate for its ‘good credentials in management of wildlife’.
“I see it as a matter of management of the land and as a ward member I have no doubts that they have the best intentions.
“We are in the countryside and the countryside has to be managed,” he added.
Asked about reports of dogs getting trapped in snares, Mr Dendle said dogs are supposed to be kept on leads on the estate.
Peter Knight confirmed he had agreed to receive the petition but declined to comment further.
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