A DEVASTATED cat owner is trying to come to terms with the death of their pet after it starved to death when it was snared in an illegal trap.

After a desperate two-week search the distressed owner found their cat near its home in Hill Rise, Darenth.

The contraption, known as a gin trap, had been laced with peanuts in a bid to attract and kill squirrels. But instead the tabby cat had been caught in the trap’s large teeth and was unable to free itself.

It is believed the pet then tried to reach its owner and dragged itself to the bottom of the garden before it became entangled in the fence where it was found. The cat lover is too distressed to speak about the horrific ordeal.

Charlotte Baumann, RSPCA inspector, is investigating the death.

She said: “These traps are unbelievably cruel, as a trapped animal will usually ether starve to death or gnaw off its leg in an attempt to get free. This poor cat must have died a horrendous death.”

Klare Kennet, RSPCA spokesman, said: “These traps were banned in the 50s because they are so cruel.”

She added usually residents used the devices to get rid of what they consider are pests, such as squirrels.

But she explained: “It is not just squirrels, these traps kill the wildlife, including badgers and foxes as well as treasured pets.

“Surprisingly, it is not that rare for an incident such as this to happen. During the last year there have been two or three cases.”

Miss Baumann added that if anyone had a problem with pests they should contact the proper authorities and not set illegal traps.

Anyone with information should telephone the RSPCA on 0870 5555 999 and all calls will be treated in confidence.

Source: Kent Online

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