At this time of year the countryside looks its most glorious, but there is a sinister threat to pets and wildlife in hiding.

The threat is snares, consisting of a wire noose, and millions of them are being put into place by gamekeepers, often staked into the ground in bushes, alongside streams and hidden on animal tracks.

In summer they are mostly found near game bird release pens, where these birds are kept before release for winter shooting sports.

The badger has little chance of escape and we know how gamekeepers kill them: they are often shot, bludgeoned or stabbed.

The threat to cats and dogs is significant, too, and we are dealing with a number of dogs caught up in these nooses. Cat owners are equally distressed when they find cat hair and traces of blood in a snare but no cat. Torment for the owner is overwhelming.

This is the hidden part of the shooting industry. Be aware of snares and help us in our campaign to ban these disgusting implements of torture.

Sign a petition at and alert us to snaring incidents in your area.

Simon Wild, National Anti Snaring Campaign