A CAT is recovering at its home near Lyme Regis this week from horrific injuries after its head was caught in a wire snare.

Eight-year-old Jasper was discovered by his owner Suzanne Spurdle, of Hunters Lodge, after he returned home after a night out.

He was bleeding from the mouth with the wire still round his neck.

Suzanne rushed Jasper to the vet where the wire was removed.

The vet discovered he had severed part of his tongue and had horrific injuries to his mouth.

It’s believed Jasper chewed through the wire that was anchoring the snare to the ground in order to free himself, after putting his head into the wire loop which tightened round his neck.

Tabby and white Jasper was this week back at home and making a good recovery. Suzanne said: “Jasper is a country cat so he normally goes out at night. I was absolutely horrified when I saw the white bib of his fur covered in blood.

“The vet says it was only because he was such a big strong cat that he managed to free himself.

“But he was in shock and great pain and he is still not himself.

“I cannot believe these gruesome contraptions are still legal and I hope this serves as a warning to people who set them.”

RSPCA Inspector David Steele said: “Snares are one of the most cruel and indiscriminate killers of wild and domestic animals. They have traditionally been used as a method of pest control but they inflict suffering at random on a wide variety of animals.

“Victims of snares may die of strangulation as they struggle to free themselves and the noose works itself tighter and tighter. If they don’t die immediately they can starve to death or be killed by predators.

“We also hear of animals chewing off their limbs in panic.

We would like to see them banned completely.”

Wire snares are a legal method of killing animals, apart from protected species including some birds, deer and badgers.

All snares are made of brass or steel wire threaded in a loop through an “eye”.

Any snare threaded in such a way that it locks when pulled tight is called a self-locking snare and these were made illegal under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.

Users of “free running” wire snares that do not lock are still legally obliged to take “all reasonable precautions” to prevent injury to protected animals.

It is also a legal requirement to check snares once a day. Anyone setting a snare needs to have the permission of the landowner.

The RSPCA is opposed to the use of snares as they often inflict an horrific death by strangulation. They do not discriminate between species and can quite easily trap pets or protected wildlife.

Anyone with information on the incident at Axminster involving Jasper can talk to the RSPCA in strictest confidence on 0870 5555999.

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