Animal welfare activist found not guilty after “damaging and stealing dozens of snares and traps”

Doug Maw is an animal welfare activist. He is actually quite high profile on social media. And his Twitter/X feed helps me get to the bottom of this story which is reported in The Times. The Times version is inaccurate according to Doug Maw and he should know because he was there in court.

Maws and campaigners against snares
Maws and campaigners against snares. Image: MikeB using Twitter account of Maws and a Guardian image by the National Anti-Snaring Campaign.

Maw was involved in what appears to have been an ongoing and long-running conservation row with the Duke of Norfolk. Maw like many others hate animal traps and snares.

The Duke of Norfolk says that he needs to place snares and traps on his estate in order to protect the endangered gray partridge. He says that they are killed by predators such as foxes and stoats.

Maw says that “the only reason [the duke] is obsessed with protecting wild partridge is so that he can shoot them.”

Maw was arrested and charged with damaging and stealing dozens of snares and traps on the duke’s estate.

Maw posted videos of an injured hare and a fawn running in circles caught in snares.

The Times reports that at a pre-trial hearing, the prosecution offered no evidence and therefore Maw was cleared.

Maw has a different story and as mentioned he was there. He says this on Twitter: “The CPS comment is actually untrue. They didn’t withdraw. The charges were heard & I was found not guilty. Astounding that they can try to change what is now on a matter of record in the crown court!”

Comment: I looks as though the judge had a sympathetic ear for Maw’s animal welfare activities in that he was motivated to protect wildlife. It seems without knowing the full facts of the case that it can be acceptable to ostensibly steal a snare or trap or damage it when it is done to protect wildlife (mitigating circumstances).

Wales has banned snares. Scotland is in the process of banning snares. Maw is campaigning for a ban across England. 69% of people want an end to snares according to Animal Aid.

Maws is an ex-abattoir worker. He became a vegan in 1990. The Duke of Norfolk has increased the grey partridge population on his estate from 11 to 2,000 birds according to The Times.

Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Speciesism - 'them and us' | Cruelty - always shameful Note: I will donate 10 cents to an animal charity for every comment made over the next three months on pages where comments can be made.
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