Monday 24 February 2014

THE RSPCA is appealing for information after two cats from the same household returned home with snares around their necks in the Vale of Glamorgan.

The first cat returned to his home at Wren road, St Athan on Sunday 16 February with a snare wrapped so tightly around his neck he could hardly breathe. Fortunately the owner was able to remove the snare and the cat was uninjured. On Friday 21 February the owner’s other cat returned home with a snare around her neck. Again the snare was removed and the cat was lucky that she wasn’t seriously injured.

Both snares were homemade from thin wire and the RSPCA is appealing for anyone with information about them to get in touch.

Both snares were homemade from thin wire

RSPCA inspector Selina Chan is investigating the incident and said: “A snare is a wire noose which is attached to a stake or heavy object that acts as an anchor to stop the animal escaping. The more the animals struggles to free, the tighter the snare becomes. This can result in the animal dying a slow and painful death from injury, strangulation or starvation, or being killed by predators.

“If the snare comes away from the anchor, the animal can be left with it still firmly attached – the animal may then die from its injuries or because it cannot fend for itself.

“Snares are indiscriminate and while they are usually set to catch a fox or rabbit, the victim is quite often a badger, cat or dog.  Surveys by the RSPCA have shown that only a third of animals caught in snares were the intended species, with cats trapped in the largest numbers”.

Under the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981 it is illegal to set any trap or snare likely to cause injury to protected species. People need to be aware that they leave themselves open to prosecution if they are not abiding by the laws and guidelines on trapping animals*.”

The RSPCA is opposed to the manufacture, sale and use of all snares and any traps which cause suffering.

Anyone with information about this incident is urged to call the RSPCA inspector’s appeal line on 0300 123 8018 and leave a message for Inspector Chan.

To help the RSPCA investigate cases like this text HELP to 78866 to give £3 (texts cost £3 + one standard network rate message).


NOTES *There are some regulations governing the use of snares. It is illegal to set snares for birds, deer and badgers, though snares cannot distinguish between animals and may trap the wrong one.

In 1981, the Wildlife and Countryside Act outlawed the self-locking snare which, as a variation on the traditional noose, tightens with a ratchet-like mechanism.

Under the Act, users of other forms of snare must take all reasonable precautions to prevent injury to protected animals, but precautions provide no guarantee against such an event.

It is also a legal requirement that snares be checked at least once a day, yet from the severity of the injuries caused to a lot of animals that many people do not follow even this minimal requirement.