§ Mr. Meale
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what plans the Government have to ensure that the terms of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 regulating free-running snares are adhered to.
§ Mr. Trippier
Strict penalties of fines of up to £2,000 for each offence are already available to the courts to assist in enforcing the provisions regulating snares under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. There will be provision in the Criminal Justice Bill to increase the level of fine to £5,000. Police forces are well aware of the legislation controlling wildlife and in many cases have appointed officers who take a special interest in this area.