The owner of a Haddington cat which was killed by a snare in March says she fears other pets may have come to harm in the traps – with reports of up to seven moggies missing from just one area of the town.

Julie Renton’s four-year-old pet Tom died after being caught in a wire slipknot on Monkrigg Farm, to the south of the town.

It happened just days after MSPs had voted against a total ban on using snares in Scotland.

Julie has since become involved in the National Anti-Snaring Campaign, which fights against the sale and use of animal snares in the UK. Last month, she took part in a documentary for the campaign at her Monkmains Road home and keeps the organisation up to date with any incidents in her area.

However, she has recently been told of cats which have been missing from the town for 10 weeks.

Snares are often used on farmland by poachers or farmers as a pest control measure.

“Some people have come forward to say that their pet is missing. I know of two in Abbot’s View for definite and a woman told me that there’s seven missing in the Abbot’s View area,” Julie told the Courier.

“It happened to Tom, I’m not wanting it to happen to any other cat. I know there are reports of other cats [going missing] too.

“I am helping the National Anti-Snaring Campaign, but I would like to know how big a scale this is. Maybe a lot more pets are missing. It seems there’s too much of a coincidence.

“I’m scared in case our new cat goes up to that [Monkrigg Farm] area. It’s not far – it’s only half a mile from the house.

“I know cats roam but they don’t deserve to be caught like that, it’s a horrible death. I don’t think I’ll ever get over what happened to Tom.”

A spokeswoman for the town’s Links Veterinary Group said reported cases of missing cats were no higher than usual.

Pet owners with concerns can contact Julie by emailing msdragonfly69@hotmail.co.uk or telephoning 07956 600710.

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