THE RSPCA is appealing for information after a cat was caught by an illegal gin trap.

A member of the public found the cat in a field at Bowdens Lane, Penhow, Caldicot, on 9 June and contacted the RSPCA.

Gin traps are mechanical traps designed to catch an animal by its leg, using spring-operated jaws with teeth or a serrated edge. The use of gin traps has been illegal in the UK since 1958, but some are still being used to catch animals such as rabbits and foxes.

Cat injured by gin trap1 June15The trap was attached to the cat’s leg and following an urgent trip to a veterinary surgery the cat sadly had to have her leg amputated.

Inspector Gemma Black said: “Sadly the cat’s leg was amputated – it was taken off straight away as the injury was so bad you could see the bones.

“It was horrendous – she is only a young cat. She would have been in so much pain. It was lucky someone found her.”

The cat hasn’t been microchipped so an owner has not been found.

“We put posters up and no one has come forward yet,” added inspector Black.

“If anyone has any information about this cat or about who has put down this trap, please get in touch. Please ring our inspectorate line on 0300 123 8018, which is in confidence.”

It is illegal to cause any animal to suffer by using gin traps, and domestic animals often fall foul of the traps.

The sale or possession of such traps is not illegal, but the RSPCA wants to make people aware that they can face prosecution by setting a gin trap. Gin trap 1

Anyone found guilty of setting a gin trap faces a maximum £20,000 fine and/or six months in prison.

If you spot an animal in distress, please call the RSPCA’s 24-hour helpline on 0300 1234 999.

If you would like to help the RSPCA, you can give £3 now by texting HELP to 78866 (text costs £3 + one standard network rate message). We are a charity and rely on public donations to exist.