RSPCA Cymru rushed to the aid of a Cardiff fox trapped in a snare last night, which the animal welfare charity fears may have been illegally set.
The fox was trapped in a snare set at the base of a tree in the CF5 area of Cardiff – on an unnamed country road, and was discovered on Wednesday evening (18 December).
Setting a snare at the foot of a tree is not compliant with the Welsh Government’s voluntary code of best practice on the use of snares in fox control.
RSPCA Cymru also fear that – due to the likelihood that setting a snare in this way could cause an animal suffering – setting a snare in this way may also constitute an offence.
The snare was entwined around the fox’s abdomen and back legs – but, fortunately, RSPCA animal collection officer (ACO) Stephanie Davidson was able to successfully free the fox utilising pliers.
Following the rescue, a thorough examination of the fox was undertaken – as wildlife caught by snares are at risk of numerous serious injuries. However, thankfully the fox was uninjured and has now been released back to the wild.
ACO Davidson said: “Luckily, we were able to reach this poor fox very quickly – and release him from the snare before any damage could be done.
“The snare had got caught around his abdomen and legs – but we were able to get him out after utilising a pair of pliers.
“We’re so grateful to the member of the public who spotted this troubled fox, and then took us to the location, as this was in a rural and remote part of Cardiff.
“The fox is quite lucky he wasn’t more seriously injured as the way the snare was set could have caused great suffering; which is why we feel this could constitute an offence – and at the very least is in no way compliant with the Welsh Government’s voluntary code of best practice on the use of snares in fox control.
“If anyone has any information about this incident, or any snares being set in an illegal way, they can contact our 24-hour emergency line on 0300 1234 999.”
RSPCA Cymru is opposed to the manufacture, sale and use of all snares or any trap which causes suffering. Snares are cruel and indiscriminate in what they catch – and the RSPCA support an outright ban on their use in Wales.
The public is urged to never try and free an animal from a snare or trap – due to risk of injury to the human and animal, while it could also be an offence if the animal was legally caught.
Many animals caught by snares are more seriously injured than people may think, so it is best that they are examined properly to see if they require veterinary treatment. People instead should stay back to avoid stressing the animal and call the RSPCA with the location on the charity’s 24-hour emergency line, 0300 1234 999.