Cat survives rabbit snare ordeal

Pet’s owner urges trappers to take more care in laying snares

A CAT has survived the ordeal of being trapped in a rabbit snare while out hunting rabbits in Lochaber.

Lynn Wilson, the cat’s owner, from Banavie, near Fort William, yesterday called for greater care to be taken by those who lay the traps. She said 12-year-old Tigger was left distressed when he was snared by a free-running looped trap recently.

It is not known where the device, a legal one, was placed but Ms Wilson believes it would not have been too far from her home near the Caledonian Canal. It is understood a number of such traps are located in open ground in and around Banavie in an attempt to control the rabbit population.

Ms Wilson said: “Tigger usually goes out late at night but comes in after an hour or two. That morning he arrived home much later and was covered in mud and totally bedraggled.

“The snare was round his neck and upper body and he was in a lot of distress. Luckily he wasn’t badly cut, probably because of his thick coat, but he was very sensitive to being touched near his neck. It took a day or two for him to get over it. I reckon that’s one of his nine lives gone.”

Ms Wilson asked snare setters to be aware that people have pets and that great care should be taken about where the snares are laid. She said: “The irony here is that my cat actually catches rabbits. Whoever put this trap down has snared one of the rabbit catchers in the area.”

Dawna Connolly, Lochaber welfare officer for the Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, said: “These free-running traps are legal and are used a lot to catch rabbits.

“By law they have to be checked every 24 hours but it is pretty impossible to regulate.

“There is going to be new legislation on snares but no outright ban. Snares will have to have ID tags. The Scottish SPCA wants an outright ban but that looks unlikely.”

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