Devon

Pregnant cat loses leg in illegal 'gin' trap

Cat Image copyright South Moor Vets
Image caption The vet estimated the cat was stuck in the trap for about 24-48 hours

A pregnant cat has had its leg amputated after an illegal trap "splintered its bone into shards".

The RSPCA said the animal was found with its paw in the "gin" trap by two men in Kingsbridge on Tuesday.

They took it to a local vet where, due to the severity of its injuries, the front leg had to be removed.

The charity said it was investigating and appealed for anyone with information about the trap to get in touch.

The cat is thought to be about two years old and is black with a white belly and socks.

Image copyright Kinsbridge Police
Image caption The illegal trap clasped around the cat's front paw, splintering the bone

The RSPCA said the traps "are illegal and designed with teeth so when the prey steps into it, the trap closes and holds the animal there without killing it, but often breaking its leg in the process."

It said: "It is horrible to think about the amount of pain this poor cat must have suffered from being caught in the trap."

The use of gin traps was outlawed in the UK in 1958.

South Moor vets said it estimated the trap to have been on for about 24-48 hours as "her foot was crushed, bones were sticking out of her skin and her foot and toes were cold."

Image copyright Kinsbridge Police
Image caption A 'gin' trap's sharp teeth are designed to clamp on to prey

Devon and Cornwall Police said: "The trap had cut into the cat's leg down to the bone and splintered the leg and foot into shards".

The Police and the RSPCA are also keen to speak with anyone with information about similar traps being used in the area.

South Moor vets are trying to find the cat's owners.

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