'Extremely concerning' - Charity appeals for information after cat in Boston loses its life to illegal and 'barbaric' gin trap

An animal charity is appealing for information after a cat in Boston was caught in an illegal gin trap and hurt so badly it was decided the most humane course of action was to put it to sleep.
The gin trap involved in the incident in Boston. The devices have been illegal in the UK since 1958.The gin trap involved in the incident in Boston. The devices have been illegal in the UK since 1958.
The gin trap involved in the incident in Boston. The devices have been illegal in the UK since 1958.

The RSPCA says it is ‘extremely concerned’ by the use of the device in a residential area.

The charity was made aware of the incident after the cat – a female – was found in the garden of a home in Argyle Street, Boston, on Tuesday, February 13, with a gin trap clamped around one of her back legs.

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Gin traps have spring-operated jaws with teeth or a serrated edge that snap shut.

The RSPCA said the distraught homeowner, who did not own the cat, rushed her to a nearby vet for urgent treatment, but sadly the trap had caused such extensive damage to the cat, shattering her leg, that the independent vet advised the kindest thing to do was to put her to sleep.

It is unknown why the trap was set, the charity added.

RSPCA inspector Laura Jones, who is investigating the incident, said: “The injuries this poor cat sustained by this barbaric illegal gin trap were just horrific and she must have been in so much pain.

“She managed to get into the garden of the homeowner with this trap attached to her leg, and the worried member of the public rushed her straight to a nearby vet.

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“Sadly the injuries she sustained were just too devastating and the independent vet made the decision to put her to sleep to prevent her suffering further.

“We do not know who owns the cat as she was not microchipped. She was a young adult female grey tabby cat.

“She had been visiting the homeowner’s garden in recent weeks and they had kindly given her food as they thought she was a stray. She managed to get back into the garden where thankfully she was quickly found and the devastated homeowner rushed her to the vet.

“Gin traps are illegal and anyone found using them could face prosecution and I am investigating this and would urge anyone with information to call me on the RSPCA inspector appeal line on 0300 123 8018.”

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Gin traps have been illegal to use in the UK since 1958, although some are still being set to catch animals such as rabbits and foxes. The mechanical devices are designed to catch an animal by its leg.

Evie Button, from the RSPCA’s wildlife department, said: “Gin traps are cruel and barbaric and anyone setting one faces prosecution. They cause horrific injuries as they usually ensnare the whole leg of an animal.

“They are totally indiscriminate in nature – victims can be wildlife or family pets but whatever the animal, these devices cause a great deal of suffering. We are extremely concerned that someone has set one in a residential area where people often walk their dogs and where there are likely to be cats.”