The Scottish SPCA is appealing for information after a fox was discovered caught in an illegal snare in Dumfries. Warning you may find the photographs distressing.
We were called to investigate after a member of the public found the fox on Wednesday (8 February) at waste water treatment works off New Abbey Road, Dumfries.
The fox had effectively been hung after becoming trapped in the wire snare which was attached to a fence. We believe that the fox had been there for some time, possibly two weeks, and the snare, which had become rusted, was likely to have been set up several months ago.
Chief Superintendent Mike Flynn said, "Legal snares are only supposed to hold on to an animal until it can be freed or dispatched, they aren't supposed to kill.
"This snare was set on to a fence, had no stop mechanism to prevent it from tightening too far around the animal's neck and it clearly had not been checked within the 24 hour limit, all of which are legal requirements.
"This fox would have been caused an unimaginable amount of pain and suffering over a prolonged period of time before it eventually succumbed to its injuries.
"We are asking members of the public to call our animal helpline on 03000 999 999 if they see a snare and have any suspicions as to whether it is legally set.
"Local dog and cat owners should also be extra vigilant when allowing their pets outdoors as there could still be other live snares in the area."
We are opposed to snaring and supports a total ban on the practice in Scotland.
Chief Supt Flynn added, "Snaring is cruel, indiscriminate and unnecessary and the only way to stop animals from suffering in snares is an outright ban.
"No amount of regulation will prevent non-target species such as wildlife and domestic pets from being caught and even killed in snares."