An expert group’s recommendation to finally ban “cruel and unnecessary” snare traps on welfare grounds has been welcomed by Martin Whitfield MSP.

The Scottish Animal Welfare Commission has recommended the Scottish government scrap the practice, saying it raised “significant welfare concerns” for affected species.

Following the publication of the group’s report, Scottish Labour’s Spokesperson on Rural Affairs, Colin Smyth MSP, said snaring was a “barbaric” practice and that Labour will back a ban.

Mr Whitfield has welcomed the call for a ban and Mr Smyth’s commitment that if the SNP-Green government does not deliver it in the forthcoming bill on grouse moor shooting, he will seek to amend the legislation to include one.

Martin Whitfield MSP said:

The Scottish Animal Welfare Commission’s report could not be clearer – these barbaric traps kill around 200,000 wild animals each year and must be consigned to the history books.

“The SNP have wasted years defending this cruel and unnecessary practice, but it can’t go on. We need to act on this expert advice and end snaring at long last.

“My colleague Colin Smyth has been clear that if a ban isn’t included when the government publishes the Wildlife Management Bill, Labour will seek to amend the bill to deliver one.

“I welcome this commitment to a ban and look forward to voting to end the use of snaring as soon as possible.”