An Aberdeenshire cat owner has joined Cats Protection’s campaign for snares to be banned in Scotland after her pet cat Harry was found collapsed in a field with horrific injuries.
Marion Brownlie said Harry’s injuries were so appalling that she at first believed he had been “cut in two” when he was discovered close to his home in St Cyrus.
It is thought the ginger-and-white moggy may have been trapped in the snare for five agonising days before he was able to drag himself to safety.
Having confirmed his injuries were caused by a snare, vets carried out surgery to repair a deep wound running from hip to hip across Harry’s abdomen. He was later able to return home but needs to be confined to a cage for rest during his recovery.
Marion said: “Harry had been missing for five days when my daughter spotted him – she could see he was in a bad way and I rushed over. We found him collapsed in a field and it was like something from a nightmare – I was afraid to pick him up as it looked as though he’d been cut in two.
“He was still clinging to life and we got him to the vet who said his chances were 50/50. The vet could tell that Harry must have been trapped for some time, and he must have been in agony.“
There is no way he could have gotten out of the snare on his own, so we can only assume that whoever laid the snare had released him, but we’ll never know. It’s too horrific to think of him trapped like that – he’s a family pet, adored by all of us including my young grandchildren.
“I can’t quite believe he managed to survive the injuries – it was the most horrific thing I’ve ever seen. But so far he is doing well, and we’re just keeping everything crossed that he continues to recover.
“I was absolutely staggered to find out that these snares are legal. Anyone who saw the state Harry was in would agree that snares are completely inhumane – no animal should be left to suffer such agony for so long. I can’t see how snares can be justified at all – it’s plain cruelty and must be banned.”
After finding Harry injured, Marion had first contacted Dr Elspeth Stirling, a volunteer from Cats Protection’s Arbroath & District Branch, for advice.
Dr Stirling said: “I’ve been a volunteer for Cats Protection for over 25 years and this is the worst case of needless suffering I’ve come across. What makes this even more distressing is that snares are still legal but Harry’s case clearly shows how incredibly cruel and inhumane they are.”
Cats Protection’s Advocacy & Government Relations Officer for Scotland Alice Palombo said: “Cats Protection is campaigning for an outright ban on snares like the one which Harry was caught in. As Harry’s story shows, snares are cruel, inhumane and cause considerable pain and suffering to any animal they capture.
“It’s hard to describe Harry as lucky, as he must have suffered unimaginable pain, but thankfully he did survive and get home. Many animals caught in snares – whether they’re wildlife or pet cats – will instead suffer a long, lonely and painful death.
“Snares and similar devices have no place in a modern society and we will continue to campaign for them to be banned.”
Snares are soon to be banned in Wales under the Agriculture (Wales) Bill which is awaiting its final stage and Cats Protection will continue to campaign for the rest of the UK to follow suit.
To find out more about Cats Protection’s campaign for a ban on snares and similar devices, please visit www.cats.org.uk/campaigning