Elderly woman fined by court after two pet cats died in her snare traps on Yorkshire farm near Haworth Moor

An elderly woman has been fined for causing unnecessary suffering to an animal after two pet cats died in snare traps on her moorland farm.

June Kershaw, 77, said she was intending to catch rabbits and foxes in her garden at Harbour Lodge Farm near Haworth Moor with the snares, which are legal when used to trap vermin.

However, instead of pests the devices killed Bengal/Savannah cat Marley and tabby Frankie, which belonged to her neighbour, in April and July 2021.

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She was found guilty after a trial at Bradford Magistrates Court this week. She was charged under the Animal Welfare Act of using the snares in an improper manner and knowing that they could have caused unnecessary suffering.

Haworth MoorHaworth Moor
Haworth Moor

Kershaw, a widow, was fined £600 and ordered to pay costs of £1,300 following the RSPCA-led prosecution.

Her defence case was that she had set the traps daily for over a decade to stop rabbits eating her vegetables, and she claimed not to know her neighbour owned cats.

The RSPCA said: “The RSPCA is opposed to the manufacture, sale and use of all snares - which are sadly legal to catch certain wild animals such as foxes and rabbits - and any trap which causes suffering. Snares can’t distinguish between animals and it’s thought many victims are not the intended species.”