Warning after illegal trap caught local cat

Warning after illegal trap caught local cat

RSPCA Tasmania CEO Peter West today issued a warning to all owners of small animals to be vigilant following an incident where there has been a cat caught in a leg-hold trap close to homes in Lenah Valley.

Chester (name chosen by our staff) was caught in an illegal trap sometime over the ANZAC Day long weekend and it wasn’t until an off-duty policeman, an after-hours vet nurse and one of our professional animal carers teamed up that poor Chester’s plight became better.

“Chester definitely used up one of his nine lives,” Mr West said today.

“The off-duty Police officer heard Chester’s cries and called an after-hours Vet nurse in North Hobart, who in turn called our staff member who attended the scene, cut Chester and the trap loose and got the dehydrated cat to the vet clinic for initial treatment. The RSPCA Tasmania Vet (at our Hobart Animal Care Centre) then performed surgery to remove the whole leg that had become excessively damaged due to Chester’s endeavours to break free of the trap.

“This trap was set close to homes and anything small could have been caught, like native animals, dogs, cats and worst of all it could have even snared a small child,” Mr West added.

RSPCA Tasmania will continue to monitor Chester’s recovery and all indications are that he will make a good recovery and hopefully be ready for adoption in coming weeks.

“It is an offence just to set a trap like the one that snared Chester; you don’t necessarily have to catch or have caught anything for it to constitute an offence,” RSPCA Tasmania Chief Inspector Ray Kroeze said today.

Traps are covered under Section 12 of the Animal Welfare Act.

Section 12(1) Subject to subsection (2), a person must not set, lay or place a leghold trap, glueboard trap or snare.
Penalty: (b) natural person, a fine not exceeding 100 penalty units ($15,400) or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months, or both.

Section 12(2) A person may apply to the Minister for an exemption to use a leghold trap, glueboard trap or snare.

“We will continue to investigate cases of illegal trapping, and other inhumane ways of catching and confining animals, and would encourage people to report this to the RSPCA,” Mr Kroeze added.

RSPCA Tasmania will continue to update their Facebook page with news on how Chester is doing.