From 1 April 2013, it will be illegal for an individual to set a fox or rabbit snare in Scotland without attaching their unique operator's ID number.

In order to obtain an ID number, snaring operators must first undertake a training course approved by the Scottish Government. A list of approved training providers can be found on their website.

Once operators have completed their course, they should apply for their ID number at their local police station. To do this, they will need to present their course certificate along with an application form (which can be downloaded here), photographic proof of identity, and a passport photo. There is an application fee of £20.

Once they have their ID number, operators will need to attach a tag containing this number to each snare they set. They will also need to prefix the number with a specific letter depending on the type of animal they intend to snare. In addition, individuals who set snares must keep a full record of the location of the snare, the date it was set, the date it was removed and the type of animal caught.

Landowners, factors and other land managers will need to be mindful of the potential implications they may face if the new regulations are not properly complied with by their employees, and should ensure that all necessary personnel have receiver their operator's ID number prior to 1 April.