The RSPCA is appealing for information after a cat was caught in an illegal gin trap in Nottingham.

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The cat – a 10-month-old black and white male cat named Will – suffered serious leg injuries on 14 April after getting caught in the trap, which had been set behind houses in Gladstone Street, Nottingham. Will suffered a broken leg and has spent the last two weeks at the vets – including time in intensive care – but returned home last Thursday (28 April).

RSPCA inspector Dave McAdam, who is investigating, said: “This has caused so much stress for his owners, who have been left in shock by this. It is a horrific incident which has clearly left a young cat in a lot of pain.

“Will was taken to the vets where they had to operate on his right front leg, which was badly broken. He now has a plate in his leg and his paw had swollen up so much that it looked like a baseball glove.”

Gin traps are mechanical traps designed to catch an animal by their leg, using spring-operated jaws with teeth or a serrated edge. The use of gin traps has been outlawed in the UK since 1958, but some are still being illegally used to catch animals such as rabbits and foxes.IMG_20160424_091255090.jpg

Inspector McAdam said: “This trap was set in the open and the chances are that this was set deliberately.

“If anyone has any information about this incident, please get in touch by calling our inspectorate appeal line in complete confidence on 0300 123 8018.

“We would also ask local people to be vigilant to keep an eye out for these traps. Not only is it illegal to set a gin trap, it is also illegal to cause an animal to suffer as a result, and domestic animals often fall foul of these 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.

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

The RSPCA is a charity and we rely on public donations to exist. To assist our inspectors in carrying out their vital work please text HELP to 78866 to give £3. (Texts cost £3 + one standard network rate message.)