THE RSPCA is appealing for information following reports that cats from a Pembrokeshire village have died suspiciously.
There have been several reports of cats being killed at Gray Avenue, Manorbier. One owner suspects her black and white male cat was poisoned. A cat has also been injured in a snare and there have been reports of three other cats which have died suspiciously in the area.
RSPCA inspector Keith Hogben said: “We are appealing to anyone who has any information on these suspected cases to come forward.
“We are also advising cat owners to be vigilant and to contact a vet immediately if they suspect that their pet may have been poisoned. The sooner the cat is treated, the better their chances of surviving.”
Poisoning a cat deliberately is a criminal offence. Under the Animal Welfare Act 2006, the maximum penalty for those found guilty of this offence is up to six months imprisonment and/or a fine of up to £20,000.
If you suspect that your cat has been poisoned you must take it to a vet immediately. If possible, you should take a sample of what the cat has eaten/drunk, or the container.
Anyone who may have information about this incident should contact the RSPCA inspectorate appeal line on 0300 123 8018. Or please call the RSPCA’s 24-hour helpline on 0300 1234 999. Calls are treated in confidence.
To help the RSPCA investigate cases like this, you can give £3 now by texting HELP to 78866 (Text costs £3 + one standard network rate message).
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.