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Distressed fox found in illegally-set snare

RSPCA Cymru issues warning about the dangers of snares and their improper use.

A young fox trapped in a snare near Fishguard has been rescued and released by RSPCA Cymru.

The animal welfare charity was contacted after a member of the public found the fox trapped in a snare on a public footpath in the Gwaun Valley, near Llanychaer, on 6 October.

The snare had been set at the base of a tree – which is not compliant with the Welsh Government’s voluntary code of best practice on the use of snares.

By law snares must be inspected at least once every day, however the Welsh Government’s Code recommends that snares are inspected twice daily.

The setting of a snare also requires the authorisation of the landowner – but, in this instance, the local farm had no knowledge of the snare.

RSPCA Cymru is opposed to the manufacture, sale and use of all snares or any trap which causes suffering. Snares are cruel and indiscriminate in what they catch – and the animal welfare charity supports an outright ban on their use in Wales.

RSPCA inspector Keith Hogben said: “This snare was set at the base of a tree and on a slope, so I do not believe was compliant with the law, nor the Welsh Government’s code of practice for the use of snares in fox control.

“This fox was understandably very distressed, but luckily I was able to remove the snare without the need for sedation. The fox was taken into our care – to a wildlife specialist centre – and following a period of rehabilitation, was then released near to the original incident location a few days later. He had sustained an injury to his back legs from where he had become entangled in the snare but the injury healed following treatment.

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“Luckily this fox wasn’t injured more seriously as the way the snare was set could have caused great suffering.

“If anyone has information, they’re urged to contact our inspectorate appeal line on 0300 123 8018.”

The public is urged to never try and free an animal from a snare or trap – due to risk of injury to the human and animal, while it could also be an offence if the animal was legally caught. Many animals caught by snares are more seriously injured than people may think, so it is best that they are examined properly to see if they require veterinary treatment. People instead should stay back to avoid stressing the animal and call the RSPCA with the location on the charity’s 24-hour emergency line, 0300 1234 999.

Advice is also available on the RSPCA’s website.

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