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Fox falls victim to illegal snare on Welsh common

09 Jan 2024 3 minute read
Fox found in snare on Gelligaer Common

A dead fox has been found caught in a snare, a cruel animal trap which was recently banned by the Welsh Government, on a Merthyr Tydfil common.

The shocking incident was witnessed and photographed by Cardiff resident Caroline Nightingale who was visiting Gelligaer Common near Merthyr Tydfil three days before Christmas, as one of a group of five people feeding the ponies there.

‘Barbaric traps’

She reported the incident to animal welfare charity the League Against Cruel Sports which campaigned successfully to outlaw these barbaric traps consisting of thin wire nooses which tighten around their victim.

Caroline Nightingale said: “I’m a big animal lover and was horrified by the incident as was everyone who was with me.

“I just felt so sorry for the poor thing. I’ve never seen anything like that and it was so cruel.”

A red fox (vulpes vulpes). Image: League Against Cruel Sports

Wales became the first country in the United Kingdom to ban these cruel and indiscriminate traps on October 17 last year, in a bid to end the pain and suffering they cause to animals.

They were used predominantly by shooting industry gamekeepers to trap wildlife on land where non-native pheasants and partridges are released in huge numbers simply to be shot.

Up to 51,000 of these cruel devices lay hidden in the Welsh countryside at any one time before the ban according to Defra figures.

The same research showed almost three quarters of the animals caught are not the intended target species such as hares, badgers, otters and even people’s pets.

Report sightings

Shahinoor Alom, public affairs officer in Wales at the League Against Cruel Sports, said: “This distressing scene illustrates that the Welsh public needs to remain vigilant and to report any sightings of these barbaric devices to our Animal Crimewatch service and local police.

“Wales is leading the way in reducing the cruelty and suffering animals have faced and the Welsh Government has a strong commitment to strong animal welfare standards – but we need to ensure that the criminal use of snares is ended once and for all.”

The incident was reported to the League Against Cruel Sports Animal Crimewatch service which enables the public to report cruelty inflicted on animals in the name of ‘sport’

The League Against Cruel Sports is Britain’s leading charity that works to stop animals being persecuted, abused and killed for sport.

The League was instrumental in helping bring about the landmark Hunting Act 2004 and the Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Act 2021. We carry out investigations to expose law-breaking and cruelty to animals and campaign for stronger animal protection laws and penalties. Find out more about their work at


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6 months ago

Unfortunately it will take a while to turn the people around that think this is OK.

See fox hunting and its hunting with dogs. That worked well.

Valerie Matthews
Valerie Matthews
6 months ago

Foxes are a top predator who keep numbers of ‘pest’ rodents down Domestic animals are the responsibility of their owners to protect from foxes. I have kept chickens in the past are never lost one to a fox as they were properly protected, Destroy all Foxes and I predict all rodents will proliferate and cause a far greater problem to crops than the fox ever does to livestock. Nature is generally in balance until mankind put their oar in!

6 months ago

Well said. There are very few exceptions to those basic rules, such as lambs being vulnerable to being taken, but in such cases the fox is shot after some damage has been done.

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