An animal welfare charity has slammed the use of ‘inhumane and cruel’ snares after a fox was found tangled in one and hanging from a fence in Stanton last week.
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) was called on Wednesday morning (January 25) by a dog walker who spotted the adult male fox caught up in a wire snare which was attached to a wire fence in woodland off Barningham Road.
RSPCA inspector Chris Nice rushed to the scene and found the fox with the wire ‘free-running’ snare around his pelvis.
He said: “The snare was attached about 2ft off the ground on the fence to capture animals as they leapt through the air so I suspect it was designed to catch foxes.
“Luckily, he was snagged around the waist so it didn’t do too much damage. If the snare had caught him around the leg it would have likely broken the leg.
“However, had he not been spotted he would have almost certainly starved to death as he wouldn’t have been able to wriggle free.”
Snares cannot discriminate between species and any animal that moves through the noose is a potential victim.
If a ‘free-running’ snare becomes locked, either through design or improper positioning, it is illegal.
The RSPCA is opposed to the manufacture, sale and use of all snares and any traps which cause suffering.
Inspector Nice added: “Snares can cause a huge amount of pain and distress and can be fatal. The use of them on animals is inhumane and cruel.
“People need to be aware that they leave themselves open to prosecution if they are using illegal traps or not setting and checking them correctly.
“It took me 40 minutes to carefully cut this fox free but luckily he wasn’t badly hurt. Although he’d cut his foot on blackthorn while struggling in the snare, he was in very good condition.
“As he was a healthy, adult male, and to avoid causing him an extra stress, I decided to free the fox and release him there and then.”
Find out more about the RSPCA at www.rspca.org.uk/home.