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Cat’s paw crushed by illegal gin trap in Canning Town

PUBLISHED: 15:25 28 December 2017 | UPDATED: 15:37 28 December 2017

Felix the cat's paw was caught in a gin trap Picture: Celia Hammond Animal Trust

Felix the cat's paw was caught in a gin trap Picture: Celia Hammond Animal Trust

Celia Hammond Animal Trust

Pet owners are being urged to be vigilant after a cat was found with its paw crushed in an illegal gin trap.

Felix the cat's paw was caught in a gin trap Picture: Celia Hammond Animal TrustFelix the cat's paw was caught in a gin trap Picture: Celia Hammond Animal Trust

The Celia Hammond Animal Trust was called to Comyns Close, Canning Town, where a woman explained that a stray cat she had been feeding had hobbled to her front door, crying and with a gin trap around its front left paw.

The chain which would have tethered it to the ground was missing.

The charity took the cat, named Felix, to its Barking Road clinic where vet Serena Holmes prised the jaws of the trap apart with boltcutters and treated Felix for shock and pain.

Celia Hammond, who founded the charity, explained: “Gin traps, which have steel-toothed jaws which snap shut on animals’ legs, crushing bone and causing devastating injuries and unimaginable pain, have been illegal in this country for over 50 years.

“We were appalled to see this cruel and inhumane trap in use in east London.”

She added that she was concerned that another stray cat, which had been found in Plaistow with its front paw almost amputated, had likely suffered the same fate.

Gin traps have been illegal in the UK since 1958, and the penalty for their use is a fine of up to £20,000, a prison term of up to six months, or both.

Celia said that if a gin trap is found set, it should be triggered by a stick between the jaws but must not be touched so that the police can forensically examine it.

She urged people in the area to be vigilant and report any suspicious activity, particularly in bushes or undergrowth or where foxes or stray cats gather, in confidence to the Trust on 020 7474 8811 or canningtown@celiahammond.org

Anyone witnessing the setting of a gin trap should call the police on 101.

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