A DESPERATE plea for people not to use animal traps has been issued by a town cat owner after his pet was trapped in a snare.
Neville Bushbridge and his wife Jill have appealed for the traps not to be used after Mackerel was caught up in the device.
The cat is now recovering after his ordeal which happened in a hedge by an overgrown ditch off Poolbrook Road.
After the pet had gone missing, his owners put posters up in a bid to find him.
But it was not until ten days later that a dog walker, who was walking down Poolbrook Road, heard his meows.
When he investigated, he found Mackerel who had suffered significant injuries.
Mackerel was treated at a vets surgery for a snare injury, dehydration and starvation and it has taken more than a week for him to show signs of recovery and get an appetite back.
Mr Bushbridge told The Observer: “We were quite lucky because the dog walker had just seen one of our posters and came to find us.
“When I saw Mackerel lying there I thought the wire was stuck in him, I didn’t realise it was wrapped around him.
“It was distressing and shocking to find a snare like this, especially in a semi-urban area.
“People when setting these traps don’t consider the impact on local domestic wildlife.
“It has done an incredible amount of damage to Mackerel and he will need a few more vet visits and a few more weeks before he has fully recovered.”
National Anti-Snaring Campaign (NASC) spokesman Simon Wild said Mackerel was lucky to have survived as some snared cats have died within an hour or two.
“The tragedy is snares are legal and are easily bought with no instructions, but by law snares must be checked once a day.”
He added in Scotland snares were numbered and registered so the authorities know who had set them but in England there was no legal requirement for that to be done.
“Consequently, I fear justice will not be done, but I hope this will not stop a thorough police investigation.”
Mr Bushbridge added a West Mercia Police wildlife officer had visited and confirmed the police were investigating the incident.
Visit www.antisnaring.org.uk for more information on the campaign.