Strictly prohibited from use, possession and sale since 1984 in France, a wolf trap last Saturday killed an unfortunate cat, caught in the teeth of the torture device. The Chats d’Oc association in Saint-Estève and a witness “horrified by the scene” filed a complaint.
Dogs and cats from the place called Le Mas Cot in Saint-Estève, beware the danger. Last Saturday, a wolf trap killed a tabby blue kitten, held captive by the powerful crampons of this tool from another age, which it had accidentally fallen into. A tool that is now strictly prohibited in France. And still. A friend of animals, Simone, 75, a resident of the targeted neighborhood, is still very upset. Around 3pm on 1 October “I was watering my plant hedge when I saw a man in a neighboring field planting a wooden stake on which a wolf trap was attached”.
Time to go home to get his camera and “I saw a cat clinging to the object’s jaws. It had its left hind paw taken, it could not escape and I was powerless to save it.”, laments the septuagenarian. She assists “horrified by the pain of the poor tom who tries to get out of the trap by stretching his full length to the nearby fence where he succumbs”. Stunned, Simone only has the reflex to take a few pictures of the bloody scene before the next day, Sunday, she goes to the Rivesaltes gendarmerie, where she decides to file a complaint and testify to the facts. Her story collected, the investigators follow her to the land in question at Mas Cot.
An open investigation, the wolf trap seized
“The cat was still there, obviously dead”, Stéphanoise shakes. She calls her son “to help the military take the animal out of the trap’s huge jagged teeth, which they will also grab. Then they put the cat in a garbage bag and took it straight to the Neovet clinic in Perpignan for examination.”, concludes the resident. Without finally stopping there. Despite her fear of possible reprisals from the owner of the trap, Simone turns to the Chats d’Oc association in Saint-Estève. Established in 2003 by founding president Josiane Gineste, the shelter welcomes the displaced resident with open arms. The manager and one of her twenty-five active volunteers, in this case Marie-Noëlle Cancel, listen to the septuagenarian and, in turn, file a complaint with the same brigade. “We are recognized as being in the public interest and of public utility, we fly to the rescue of cats, we currently have thirty-six of them at home and we do not hesitate to condemn any abuse.”, assures Josiane Gineste. Next to M.e Christophe Poloni, the lawyer for Chats d’Oc, she is now closely following the development of the investigation.
Josiane Gineste learns from veterinarian Denis Joubert that the victim cat was not identified. Neither tattooed nor chipped. However, its beautiful Carthusian coat could indicate that it was not a small wandering hairy. But rather about a house plot from the neighborhood, spinning in the sun, who will have crossed on the road this barbaric device, which used to have the purpose of catching the wolves. Prohibited for thirty-eight years, and whose possession, use or sale is punishable by prison terms.
A sentence of 2 years in prison and a fine of €30,000
Wolf traps known as “toothed jaws” are devices banned from use, possession and sale in France since 1984. From that year until 1 January 1995, there was a tolerance for traps with rubber-coated jaws, which has been lifted.
Since that date, the law requires it “installation of pest traps is subject to a declaration by the holder of the right of destruction or his representative or the trapper responsible for the operation, of a declaration at the town hall of the municipality where the trapping is carried out The declaration at the town hall is prior and at least annually It is valid until June 30 of the current hunting year The traps must be provided with an approval number and must be visited at least every morning, some within two hours Follow the sunrise.
Otherwise, Article 521-1 of the Criminal Code contains penalties for illegal trappers. “The act of seriously ill-treating (…) or committing a cruel act against a domestic animal, domesticated or kept in captivity, is punishable by up to two years in prison and a fine of 30,000 euros.”