ILLEGAL animal traps have been condemned by the RSPCA after an incident in Potters Bar caused a fox to be put down.
Rescue officers were called to Coopers Lane last Thursday, when sickened staff from Wood Green Timber Merchants discovered a fox had crawled into a storage shed with a trap attached to its leg.
The fox had to be put down because it was in pain and the injuries were so severe.
RSPCA animal welfare officer, Kate Cornell, said: “This trap had completely snapped the poor fox’s leg. It was truly horrific.
“We have no idea where this trap had been laid, the fox had managed to free the stake attached to it, and then dragged itself to the timber yard. We now want to warn people in the area to take extra care when out and about with their animals.”
The illegal leg-hold trap which killed the fox was similar to a gin trap, which have been banned in England since 1954.
They are designed to catch an animal by clamping its leg inside spring operated jaws with a serrated edge.
The sale or possession of such traps is not illegal, but the RSPCA wants to make people aware that they can face prosecution by setting a gin trap.
Anyone found guilty of setting a gin trap which causes unnecessary suffering to an animal faces a maximum £20,000 fine and/or six months in prison.