Salisbury kitten 'lucky to be alive' after getting caught in illegal trap

Casper was found by his owners, who heard his cries. Credit: RSPCA

A nine-month-old kitten is "lucky to be alive" after becoming caught in an illegal trap near his home in Salisbury.

Casper only started venturing outside for the first time in December.

He disappeared for two days earlier this month and was later found caught in a gin trap by the A36 Southampton Road.

Gin traps - which are designed to catch an animal by their leg using spring-operated jaws - have been banned for more than 60 years.

The gin trap found on Casper's paw. Credit: RSPCA

'Brutal'

RSPCA Inspector Charlotte Coggins said gin traps can cause a lot of suffering - and it was unlikely to be an accident.

"It’s unacceptable that this kind of trap is still being used more than six decades after they were banned," she said.

“Gin traps have to be purposefully set in order to catch an animal so this can’t have been an accident.

"Once they’re set, there is nothing stopping them from catching any type of animal that steps in its path, whether that is a wildlife or a domestic pet.

A picture showing Casper's healthy paw (left) and injured paw (right). Credit: RSPCA

“Casper is lucky to be alive, sadly so many animals who find themselves caught in these traps are not so lucky. 

"It also terrifies me to think a child could have stumbled upon this trap and been left severely injured by the sharp metal teeth."

Casper’s owner, Charlotte Phillips, found him after searching and hearing his cries.

She said: "Thankfully we managed to find him, but it was awful to see him caught in the trap and the injuries he’d suffered.

An X-ray of Casper's paw. Credit: RSPCA

“I’d plead with anyone who has a cat that goes missing to please keep looking for them. It’s not enough to put up posters in the area or to post on social media.

"You know your own cat and you know their routines, so you know when something isn’t right when they’ve not returned home.

“We searched everywhere for Casper and only found him after my fiancé and son heard his cries while out looking for him."

The use of gin traps has been outlawed in the UK since 1958, but some are still being illegally used to catch animals such as rabbits and foxes.

The sale or possession of such traps is not illegal, but RSPCA says people can face prosecution by setting a gin trap.