THE RSPCA has renewed its opposition to animal snares after a fox was trapped on a local farm and had to be put down.

The organisation is now urging farmers and landowners to consider alternative methods of catching pests after the animal was treated by officers at a Wheelton farm.

The snares are not illegal but RSPCA spokesman Kevin Heggarty said: “We are completely opposed to them.

“They are indiscriminate and in this case it has caused such a bad injury for the inspector to consider the best course of action is to put the animal to sleep.”

Mr Hegarty said the RSPCA was called to the Wheelton farm after receiving reports about snaring there.

He said he understood the farm reared pheasants and chickens which were being targeted by one or more foxes.

Mr Hegarty said there were more humane ways to kill pests.

Anyone wanting information from the RSPCA can ring 0870 5555 999.