A self-proclaimed lone fur trapper from North Pembrokeshire has been killing foxes to support the fur industry even as animal activists renew calls to ban the ‘barbaric’ practice of snaring animals.
Although fur farming has been illegal in the UK since 2000, trapping with strict guidelines is still legal for certain wild animals such as foxes, rabbits and mink.
This legal loophole allows trappers to kill foxes in a ‘barbaric’ and ‘grisly’ manner.
David Sneade, from rural Wales, is a trapper and has been killing wild animals for 50 years.
In footage captured by concerned citizens, Sneade is seen on camera beating a fox with a wooden bat before dragging the semi-conscious animal to the roadside to crush it to death under his foot.
According to the Independent, the animals are snared and clubbed, rather than being shot, to avoid blood matting or bullet wounds damaging the fur.
The trapper is able to kill around 300 foxes a year. He then dismembers and skins the foxes to sell their pelts to traders in Sweden and the US.
‘It’s in my blood’
Although the footage has sparked an outcry from animal rights campaigners, Sneade is unperturbed because he believes he is protecting the environment and will continue doing so despite resistance from animal rights groups.
He said: “I’m a trapper, I was born a trapper and it’s in my blood. I’m helping the environment by keeping the fox population down.
“They do so much damage to ground-nesting birds, also for sheep farmers – they take a considerable number of lambs each year.
“It’s got to be done whether people like it or not and the only effective way is to snare them.”
‘Life itself is cruel’
He told the Independent that although there was inevitably some suffering when any animal is killed, “life itself is cruel in the natural world.”
He added that by killing foxes, he was also sparing the animals from mange and other diseases.
Fur trapping is a wildlife crime and cruelty
However, animal activists and charities want an outright ban on the use of snares in Wales.
“Fur trapping clearly has the potential for huge wildlife crime and cruelty in our countryside,” wrote The Hunt Investigation Team (HIT) on its website.
“HIT is exposing this barbaric industry and calling for a complete ban on fur trapping in the UK.”
Claire Bass, of Humane Society International UK, said: “The legal loophole that allows foxes to be snared and killed for fur needs to be closed.
“The UK banned fur farming because it is morally unjustifiable to subject animals to appalling suffering in the name of frivolous fashion and vanity.
“We clearly need to extend that legislative precedent to ban the trapping of wild animals for fur as well as the use of inhumane and indiscriminate trapping devices, such as snares, for any reason.”
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