By Kirsty Topping
A DEVOTED cat owner has revealed how her pet suffered a horrible death after being caught in a snare just a week after MSPs voted against a ban on the traps.
The four-year-old cat, called Tom, was strangled by a metal slipknot on a farm in East Lothian.
Julie Renton condemned the person who laid the trap, saying: “I’ve said that I want them to have hefty sentences but really I’d like them strung up like the cat was.”
She also revealed the cat had narrowly escaped death months before after it got its head stuck in a noose.
Last week MSPS voted against completely prohibiting the use of snares by 72 votes to 50.
Local MSP, and Scottish Labour leader Iain Gray, who backed the ban, today condemned the use of “indiscriminate and inhumane” snares.
Mrs Renton said Tom’s body was discovered by a horse rider a fortnight after he went missing. The rider saw a poster appealing for information about Tom and contacted the family.
Mrs Renton, from Haddington, East Lothian, said: “My husband went to see if it was Tom, and it was. I am absolutely heartbroken as he was my boy. I have two daughters so he was treated like a family member.”
“Tom got caught in a snare in November but managed to free himself and he came home with it round his neck.”
She said: “He came in with something round his neck. I thought it was just grass or straw, but my husband realised it was wire.
“We had to take him to the vet as he had cuts to him mouth where he had tried to chew his way out.”
She added: “The snares should be banned altogether. I think the people responsible should have hefty sentences. How do they know they are only going to catch rabbits or game?”
Mrs Renton said her two young daughters were devastated by the loss of their pet, which came less than a year after the family had had to put down their dog.
The farm where Tom died has insisted the incident was nothing to do with them.
Andrew Bain, who runs Monkrigg farm, said: “We have not given anyone permission to put snares on the ground.
“We are not actively involved in anything like that.”
Mr Gray said: “Snares are an indiscriminate and inhumane type of pest control. Last week I supported a labour amendment to the Wildlife and natural Environment Bill which would have created an outright ban.
“Sadly MSPs from other parties blocked such a ban, but I think it’s something future parliaments will look at again.”
Libby Anderson, Policy Manager of animal charity Onekind added: “I think this show that snares, whether legal or illegal are indiscriminate and any animal can get caught in them and that they are lethal.
“The Snaring Order 2010, which sets out conditions for the use of snares, is not effective and the Scottish Government decision not to vote for a ban sadly means we will see more of domestic and protected animals being trapped.”