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Hunt for 'serial cat killer' behind 25 violent deaths in NY

Animal protection investigators in a New York suburb are investigating the "violent" deaths of about 25 cats who were killed with blows to the head before being hung in plastic bags from trees.

Plastic bags containing the remains of about 25 cats hanging from a tree in a wooded area in Yonkers, New York, yesterday. Credit: AP

The bodies of the cats were found yesterday in a wooded area of Yonkers and appear to have been killed with blows to the head at various times over the past year, local animal welfare charity director Ernest Lungaro said today.

A baseball bat, two shovels and a metal pipe were found near the scene, though investigators have not yet confirmed whether they were the weapons used on the animals - some of which were killed only a few days before the grim discovery.

"Pretty disturbing, smashing their heads in and displaying them like that," Mr Lungaro said. "We have found, in the past, cases where cats were poisoned, but we've never seen anything where they're killing them this violently."

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Humans catch TB from pet cats in 'world first'

Health officials investigated a TB outbreak in nine cats in Berkshire and Hampshire. Credit: Arno Burgi/DPA

Two people have developed tuberculosis (TB) after contact with a cat in the first ever recorded cases of cat-to-human transmission, officials have said.

An outbreak in nine cats was investigated in Berkshire and Hampshire last year by Public Health England (PHE) and the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboritaries Agency (AHVLA).

PHE said it had offered screening to 39 people identified as having had contact with the infected cats, of which 24 accepted.

Two people were found to have active TB, while two others had latent TB - meaning they had been exposed to the disease at some point but did not have an active infection.

The infections were the result of infection with a bacteria known as Mycobacterium bovis, which causes TB in cattle (known as bovine TB) and in other animals.

PHE said there there have been no further cases of TB in cats reported in Berkshire or Hampshire since March 2013 and said it believed the risk of transmission from cats to humans was "very low".

RSPCA appeals for calm after six 'cat beheadings'

The RSPCA has advised cat owners to remain calm following the apparent 'beheadings' of six cats in two weeks in Kent.

The RSPCA said cat owners should remain calm Credit: PA

A warning about the incidents in the Quinton area of Kent was posted the local site The Gossip Board - Sittingbourne, Kent Online reported.

An RSPCA spokesman said: "These deaths must be a very upsetting for the cats’ owners.

“However, we want to reassure pet owners that thankfully acts of deliberate violence against dead cats are rare and thorough research has shown that these kind of injuries are caused by wildlife after death and due to the small teeth it leaves a very clean wound.

“This would not even be apparent to a vet without an in-depth post mortem.”

The paper reported that concerns were also raised after two cats in the nearby Milton area were found covered in a glue-like substance, while another was found with its fur shaved.

Pets ban for man filmed bouncing cat like yo-yo

A man has been banned from keeping animals for 10 years after he was filmed bouncing a cat up and down like a yo-yo.

Matthew Coffin, 27, was recorded abusing one-year-old Daisy the cat by his friends at his flat in Southampton.

RSPCA inspector Penny Baker said: "The 10 year ban handed down by the court shows how seriously they viewed these offences.

"Daisy was less than a year old at the time and didn't weigh much. If he had done that when she was older and heavier then he could have caused serious damage to her spine."

Mr Coffin admitted to a magistrates' court that he had been showing off.

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