SIR – Vast numbers of snares are deployed by gamekeepers every year in their war against the wildlife in our countryside. Under the law it is legal to trap a wild animal in a snare by the neck for up to 48 hours, without access to food or water. It is legal to accidentally snare a pet dog or cat.

The code of snaring good practice says all snares should be inspected preferably twice a day, but that just does not happen, and a failure to follow the guidelines is not a crime.

All over the countryside snares are set to catch wild animals, and yet 40 per cent of the animals caught are non-target animals like domestic pets.

The suffering of the snared animal is dreadful, and yet all that cruelty to wild animals is currently legal.

It is time our wild animals were protected by law from cruelty, and it is time that those who cause them suffering are subject to the full force of the law. Please support us in our demand that the sale and use of snares be banned throughout the UK – just as they already are in most European countries.

Douglas Batchelor, chief executive, League Against Cruel Sports