A 78-year-old Margaret River man has been fined and ordered to pay the vet bill after he pleaded guilty to injuring a cat with steel jaw trap, according to the RSPCA.
In a statement, the RSPCA said the man, who lives in Witchcliffe, used the prescribed inhumane device which a cat became stuck and badly injured in August 2021.
RSPCA stated the Bunbury Magistrates Court fined the offender $6000 on July 28.
The offender was also ordered to pay the cat's owner $3722 in compensation, and $163 in costs, according to the organisation.
A neighbour, who was caring for a six-year-old female tabby named Nige, made the grim discovery after hearing the cat's cries of distress. She found her trapped, badly injured and bleeding, the statement read.
RSPCA stated that Nige was taken to a local vet, where she was found to have suffered a deep wound and bone fracture.
Unfortunately, despite several weeks of treatment, Nige's leg was damaged beyond repair and had to be amputated.
The offender told the RSPCA he had set the trap to catch rabbits and acknowledged that any animal caught would 'suffer to some degree'.
RSPCA WA Iinspector manager Kylie Green said steel-jaw traps were illegal to set in Western Australia.
"These devices cause horrific injuries and suffering," she said.
"Sadly, our inspectors have been called out to some really confronting situations involving these traps, such as cats who have bled to death, or further injured themselves trying frantically to escape.
"Nobody wants to see their pet in pain, so I can only imagine how traumatic it was for Nige's carer to find her this way.
"If you see or hear about anyone setting these archaic traps, please make a report to RSPCA WA."
The charges were brought under sections 19(1) and 19(2)(b) of the Animal Welfare Act 2002. The offender was also directed to hand a second steel-jaw trap he owns over to the RSPCA.
The RSPCA relies on the community to report incidents of suspected cruelty and neglect. Report cruelty 24/7 on 1300 CRUELTY (1300 278 358) or at rspcawa.org.au
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