Two cats injured after being caught in snares in Northampton as 40 traps reported to RSPCA

The RSPCA is investigating
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Two cats were “needlessly” injured after being caught in snares in Northampton as around 40 traps have been reported to the RSPCA.

The snares - which are free running - had been found in the green area surrounded by Yeoman Meadow, Clannell Road, Hill Farm rise in Northampton.

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Animal Rescue Officer Rebecca Frost is investigating and has been liaising with the British Transport Police as the land where the snares have been found is owned by Network Rail.

One of the cats caught in a snare in Northampton. Photo: RSPCA.One of the cats caught in a snare in Northampton. Photo: RSPCA.
One of the cats caught in a snare in Northampton. Photo: RSPCA.

Rebecca said: “This is very concerning that free running snares have been set on this land and that as a result two cats have been injured and hurt. Our heart goes out to these pet owners as it would have been very upsetting for them to find their cats in this way.

“One owner had found a snare around her cat and they had to cut their cat Tommy free to release him - thankfully he had no lasting injuries from this.

“Although a ‘free-running’ snare can be used legally to trap certain species of mammals, if it becomes locked, either through design, poor maintenance or via improper positioning, it can kill.

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“There are strict legal conditions on setting certain types of traps and if they are not set in the right way non-target animals, like this cat, can get injured or even killed. If this happens the person setting the trap could potentially be committing an offence.

One of the dangerous snares. Photo: RSPCA.One of the dangerous snares. Photo: RSPCA.
One of the dangerous snares. Photo: RSPCA.

“This has been reported to the relevant authorities and we and the British Transport Police are investigating this incident.”

The RSPCA is urging anyone who has any information regarding this incident to please contact them on the inspector appeal line on 0300 123 8018.

Network Rail have been informed and confirmed the snares had not been set by them.

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A Network Rail spokesperson said: “Network Rail would never set snares and we’re alarmed that someone has been setting traps on our land which has led to two pet cats being needlessly injured.

“We will further assist the RSPCA and British Transport Police in any way we can and urge people to report if they find any more snares in the area.

“Meanwhile we wish the injured cats a speedy recovery and our thoughts go to their owners after what must have been a very distressing time.”

The RSPCA is against the use of snares because of the suffering they cause, not only to animals like foxes that are often the target of such traps, but also to other animals like badgers and even domestic animals like cats.

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The organisation has also offered advice to residents if they find an animal caught in a snare.

A spokeswoman said: “Never try to free an animal from a snare or trap – you risk hurting yourself and the animal, and it could be an offence if the animal was legally caught.

“Many animals caught by snares are more seriously injured than you think, so it is best that they are examined properly to see if they need treatment.

“Stay back to avoid stressing the animal and call us with the location on our emergency line 0300 1234 999.”

This incident comes as a badger died after being caught in a snare near Brackmills, despite the best efforts of residents and vets.