A WILDLIFE charity is renewing its call for a ban on snares after a fox was badly injured last week.

The fox was trapped in an illegal wire snare near to an Irvine housing estate for three days.

Husband and wife Andy and Gay Christie, who run Hessilhead Wildlife Rescue Centre at Gateside, Beith, saved the animal from a slow and agonising death after a member of the public raised the alarm.

Gay said: “It was absolutely awful, one of the worst cases we have seen for a long time.”

They rushed the one-year-old male to a vet for emergency treatment on a gaping wound to its stomach.

Gay said: “I cannot imagine the pain and fear that the fox suffered struggling to free itself. With every move, the snare got tighter and the wire dug deeper.

“The wound has been cleaned and dead tissue removed and the vet thinks there is a good chance of him making a full recovery.

“There will be several more trips to the vets and a fairly long recuperation but he is eating well, taking his painkillers and seems to be coping with life in a fairly small cage to prevent him from moving around too much.”

She added: “This snare was at the edge of a housing estate. There were a number of snares set there for foxes and deer.”

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Police are investigating the incident.

Gay said: “This was an illegal snare but as far as we are concerned there is no such thing as a humane snare.

“We have always been against snares. We are not a campaigning group but we feel so strongly about this because we see first hand the awful injuries wildlife suffer because of snares.”

The centre treated two badgers and a fox that were trapped in snares last year.