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Warning after cat injured in animal trap in Aylsham

Just Regional
Aug 8, 2016 3 mins read

Aylsham Vets is warning pet owners in the area to be aware after a cat was caught in a gin trap, possibly set illegally.

Staff were confronted with the results of the accident on July 26 when a cat was found caught in a the trap in a field close to a residential area on Sir William’s Lane by a member of the public.

The practice feared that the animal had sustained a traumatic fracture to his fore leg. On further investigation at The Grove Veterinary Hospital, it was confirmed that the pet had been very fortunate and sustained soft tissue damage only. The owner was located thanks to the cat’s micro-chip and the police and RSPCA were informed. He is now on his way to making a full recovery.

Anthony West, assistant practice manager, said: “Fortunately here at Aylsham Vets these incidents are a rare occurrence but we dealt with this case very recently that we felt should be shared so that all in the Aylsham area can be aware.

“The outcome could have been much more serious. Cats that become caught in such traps often manage to release the trap from its stake and can drag themselves some distance with it still attached. Given the relatively minor injury caused it is unlikely thsi cat had travelled far from where he was originally trapped.”

Aylsham’s rural location provides the town with a rich history of countryside traditions and practices. Over the ages, a variety of traps have been used to catch foxes and other small animals that were deemed to be vermin or pests that presented a risk to game and other livestock.

One such device is the gin trap, a spring-type trap designed to catch an animal’s limb and crush it to hold the animal in place. Although once common place, the use of gin traps was made illegal in 1958. It is not against the law to buy, own or sell them as historical items for display or collection; however it is illegal to buy or use a gin trap for the purpose of trapping animals. The trap in this case was old but not corroded in any way. Anthony said: “In my opinion was set in recent times.

“Gin traps must not be confused with modern day traps that are legal to use and set, such as Fenn Traps (named after the original manufacturer).  These spring-loaded traps are different in shape and designed to trap an animal and kill it outright. These traps should, when set correctly, have a tunnel placed over the top to prevent the wrong animals being caught and are thought to be more humane.

“It is unlikely we will ever know the full situation regarding this trap. It could have been set some time ago and forgotten about; it may well have been set by a poacher or someone who wished to cause deliberate harm to local wildlife or pets.

“The purpose of this story is not to panic the Aylsham community but to alert them to the potential of more traps in local area and to exercise caution when out walking locally, particularly close to hedgerows.”

If any one has any information on this case please contact the police on 101.

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