Pyrénées-Orientales: the terrible agony of a cat caught in the jaws of a wolf trap

Strictly prohibited from use, possession and sale since 1984 in France, a wolf trap killed an unfortunate cat last Saturday, caught in the toothed jaws 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 of the place called Le Mas Cot in Saint-Estève, beware of danger. Last Saturday, a wolf trap killed a tabby blue kitty, held prisoner by the powerful crampons of this tool from another age into which it had inadvertently fallen. A utensil now strictly prohibited in France. And yet.

A friend of animals, Simone, 75, a resident of the targeted neighborhood is still very upset. At around 3 p.m. on October 1, “I was about to water my hedge of plants when I saw a man in a neighboring field planting a wooden stake on which was attached a wolf trap”.

Time to go get his camera and “I saw a cat clinging to the jaws of the object. He had his left hind leg taken, he couldn’t escape and I was powerless to save him”, regrets the septuagenarian. She witnesses “horrified at the agony of the poor tomcat trying to get out of the trap by stretching his full length to the fence of the nearby fence where he succumbs”.

Stunned, Simone just has the reflex to take a few images of the bloody scene before going the next day, Sunday, 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 feline was still there, obviously dead”, shivers the Stéphanoise. She calls on her son “to help the military get the animal out of the huge serrated teeth of the trap which they are about to seize. Then they put the cat in a garbage bag and took it directly to the clinic Néovet from Perpignan for an exam”, concludes the resident. Without finally stopping there. Despite her fear of possible reprisals from the owner of the trap, Simone approaches the Chats d’Oc association in Saint-Estève. Created in 2003 by founding president Josiane Gineste, the shelter welcomes the moved 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 of general 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 denounce any act of mistreatment either”, assures Josiane Gineste . Alongside M.e Christophe Poloni, the lawyer for Chats d’Oc, she is now closely following developments in the investigation.

From veterinarian Doctor Denis Joubert, Josiane Gineste thus learns that the victim cat was not identified. Neither tattooed nor chipped. However, its pretty Chartreux-like coat could suggest that it was not a small stray hairy. But rather of a domestic tom from the neighborhood gone purring in the sun and which will have crossed on the way this barbaric device formerly intended to capture the wolves. Prohibited for thirty-eight years and whose possession, use or sale are punishable by correctional.


A sentence of 2 years in prison and a fine of €30,000

The so-called “toothed jaw” wolf traps are devices prohibited from use, possession and sale in France since 1984. From that year to January 1, 1995, there was a tolerance concerning rubberized jaw traps which has been lifted.

Since this date, the law requires that “the installation of pest traps be the subject, on the part of the holder of the right of destruction or his delegate, or of the trapper in charge of the operations, of a declaration in the town hall of the commune where trapping is practiced. The declaration in town hall is prior and at least annual. It is valid until June 30 of the current hunting year. The traps must bear the approval number and must be visited at least every mornings, some within two hours of sunrise”.

Failing this, article 521-1 of the penal code provides penalties for illegal trappers. “The act of exercising serious abuse (…) or committing an act of cruelty towards a domestic animal, tamed or held in captivity, is punishable by up to two years’ imprisonment and a fine of 30,000 euros. “

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