Outrage after cat is victim of 'sickening' snareBy Laura Nightingale
February 05, 2013
A COUPLE from Yateley have been left “sickened” after their tabby kitten fell victim to an animal trap close to their home.
On January 26, Nicholas Tyrrell and Brenda Strickland, of Selwyn Drive, found eight-month-old Wooster in a neighbour’s garden hanging on for dear life with a serious injury to his back left leg.
With the limb hanging lifeless and a huge laceration partially severing it around its joint where a wire had been, the owners rushed Wooster to St Kitts Veterinary Centre in Hartley Wintney where they had no other choice but to amputate the leg.
It remains unknown what type of trap caused, what Mr Tyrrell described as “horrifying wounds”, but it is believed that he was caught in a snare or similar animal trap.
Mr Tyrrell said: “It sickens us to think Wooster must have become trapped from about 6pm on Saturday night and had lay cold, wet, alone and scared overnight, struggling to get free and unable to move, slowly tearing his limb off until the callous individual freed him on Sunday morning.
“Then, this individual, to just release Wooster to fend for himself and then be so sadistic not give an injured animal any help is beneath contempt.”
A snare – a wire noose which is attached to a stake or heavy object that acts as an anchor – is usually set to catch a fox or rabbit, but its victim is quite often a badger, cat or dog.
Using a self-locking snare, failing to inspect one or setting it purposefully to cause injury to an animal is a criminal offence under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and carries a maximum penalty of a £5,000 fine or six months’ imprisonment.
It is also an offence to cause an animal unnecessary suffering under the Animal Welfare Act 2006, which carries a maximum sentence of £20,000 along with a possible jail sentence.
Yateley Police will conduct a letter drop in the area as part of their investigations into the incident.
Wooster returned home from the vets on Monday and is now recovering with three legs. He has a twin brother called Jeeves but since the events of Saturday, Mr Tyrrell said that Jeeves had been at a “complete loss” and has been pining after him.
Mr Tyrrell added: “This event has caused much distress not only to the animal but to its owners let alone the unnecessary expensive vet bill.”
The RSPCA said they were unable to comment on this specific incident until they knew what type of snare was involved, but they did say that they would like to see all snares banned.
A spokesman said: “The RSPCA is opposed to the use of snares, which can cause a huge amount of pain and suffering to the wildlife and domestic pets which get caught in them and in many cases can be fatal.
“Snares are indiscriminate and can kill any animal which falls into its trap. People need to be aware that they leave themselves open to prosecution if they are using illegal traps or not setting them correctly.”
There are those who argue that for the purposes of pest control, especially control of foxes and rabbits, there is no practical alternative to a snare setup that is regularly inspected by an experienced person.
The government has so far rejected calls for snares to be banned.
Anyone with information regarding Wooster’s injury is asked to call Yateley Police on 101 or Crimestoppers charity anonymously on 0800 555 111.