NEWS RELEASE January 7, 2015
Residents of Guildford are being urged to take extra care when out walking in the Fielder’s Green area of the town. The warning comes from a local wildlife charity after a deadly Gin Trap killed another animal in the area – the second such fatality in the space of 10 days. Both of these incidents were very close to Tormead School.
The Leatherhead-based Wildlife Aid Foundation (WAF) said that although both victims of these vicious traps have been foxes, if there are any more Gin Traps in the area the next victim could just as easily be a pet dog, a cat, or even a child. “This is not just a problem for wildlife but for any animal, and for people too”, said WAF chief executive Simon Cowell MBE.
“This fox, like the last one, must have suffered horribly before its death”, added Simon. “Just imagine what it would be like for a child or a pet getting its foot caught in the trap. I know there are people who don’t like foxes but you need to remember that it is not just wild animals that get caught in these appalling contraptions.”
Illegal in England since 1958, the Gin Trap is a spring-operated mechanical trap which snaps shut when an animal steps on it. Made of steel, its jaws close tightly on the animal’s leg – and the animal is completely unable to get away. Its spring action is so powerful that it can smash bones of smaller animals and rip their feet off.
“We have had reports tonight that there could be another fox in the same area, caught in one of these vicious traps, but we have not been able to locate it yet”, said Simon. “The trouble is that we don’t know how many Gin Traps there are in the area. If some very sadistic and cruel person has been going around putting out these Gin Traps around Guildford to try to kill foxes, it is anybody’s guess how many of the devices are out there. If you see one of these traps, please report it to the police, and notify the Wildlife Aid Foundation of the trap’s location. If you can, try to spring the trap shut with a stick or branch so that it can’t be of any further danger to animals. But please make sure that children keep clear – these things are extremely dangerous. Only an adult should attempt to spring a Gin Trap.”
With a veterinary hospital and wildlife rehabilitation centre at Randalls Road in Leatherhead, WAF deals with some 20,000 wildlife incidents every year and responds to emergency callouts from all over Surrey and surrounding areas. For further information please go to www.wildlifeaid.org.uk.
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