Distressing images of foxes snared and bludgeoned to death expose a cruel fur trade in Britain.
A trapper is caught on camera beating a fox with a wooden bat before dragging the still-breathing animal to the roadside to crush it to death with his foot.
The foxes are then skinned and their pelts sold for £15 each.
Animal trapper David Sneade, of Newport, Pembrokeshire, said he was acting legally by supplying a demand for fox fur in Europe and beyond.
The 61-year-old added: “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.”
But animal welfare groups say trapping causes unnecessary suffering to foxes and want it banned.
While fur farming was banned in England and Wales in 2000, and Scotland and Northern Ireland in 2002, trapping is still legal for certain wild animals such as foxes, rabbits and mink.
Bev Garside, spokeswoman for the Hunting Investigations Team, which obtained the footage from a concerned member of the public, said: “Anyone who is prepared to stand up and justify or legitimise the use of snares – I will go against them because they are inherently cruel.
"I think there is a situation here where authorities need to step up. In terms of David Sneade, he needs to stop – now.”
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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