Police are urging anyone who uses animal snares to ensure that they comply with the law.
The call comes as police investigate an incident involving the suspected illegal use of a snare, believed to have injured a lamb in the Islandmagee area.
Police advised that snares can be used in NI to control foxes and are intended for use to capture the animals for humane dispatch, not as a way to kill them. They added that used properly, snares can be used to protect other birds/animals.
The use of snares is subject to a number of legal requirements under the Wildlife (Northern Ireland) Order 1985 and the Wildlife and Natural Environment Act (NI) 2011.
PSNI Wildlife Liaison officer Emma Meredith said: “The law as it stands in Northern Ireland has four main requirements.
“Firstly, the use of a self-locking snare is prohibited and it is also an offence to sell or offer for sale a self-locking snare, or to be in possession of a self-locking snare without a reasonable excuse.
“Secondly, it is a requirement that snares are checked at least once a day and any animals caught by the snare must be released or removed.
“Failure to remove an animal, whether alive or dead, during such an inspection also constitutes an offence.
“Thirdly, it is an offence to set in position or otherwise use any snare which is, due to its design or the manner in which it is used, calculated to cause unnecessary suffering.
“Finally, no-one should be in possession of a snare or set a snare on any land where the permission of the owner or occupier of that land has not been obtained, unless there is a reasonable excuse.”
Police will continue to give attention to areas where they believe snares are being used illegally.