Oxford

Cat caught in 'illegal' trap has leg amputated

Cat in trap in tree Image copyright RSPCA
Image caption The cat dragged himself into a tree still attached to the trap and got tangled up

A pet cat found dangling from a tree after it got its leg caught in a rabbit trap has had to have the limb amputated.

Blue got caught in the snare in Headington, Oxford and climbed the tree dragging the trap behind him, but got tangled up.

He was spotted by a member of the public in "severe distress" and rescued by the RSPCA.

The charity said the trap is likely to have been set up illegally.

Blue's owner, Hannah Menzel, said: "He's back home and recuperating and coping well with only three legs.

"It broke my heart when I first saw him, especially to think someone could have placed the trap intentionally.

"He's only a young cat and so full of life. We'd got Blue after our other cat died after being poisoned and my son adores him."

Image copyright RSPCA
Image caption The RSPCA said the trap is likely to have been set up illegally

RSPCA animal collection officer Dennis Lovell said: "These kind of traps should be set in an artificial or natural tunnel which is fit for purpose and secured to the ground to avoid catching non-target species.

"It may have also been left out and forgotten about and for some time.

"We do not know who set this trap or why, but urge people to be aware how dangerous they can be for pets and wildlife."

The use of spring traps is controlled by the Pests Act 1954, and the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.

Llewelyn Lowen, scientific officer for the RSPCA, said: "There are strict legal conditions on setting these types of traps and not setting them in the right way can mean that you are committing an offence.

"These traps should be set in such a way to prevent them killing or injuring any non-target animal and so we urge people to think carefully before using them."

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