A MISSING cat was found tangled in a fox snare.

Mackerel, a tabby cat belonging to Neville and Jill Busbridge, was found after 10 days when a passing dog walker heard his meow from a bush in Poolbrook Road, Malvern.

His owners were shocked to discover a wire caught around his stomach.

Injured Mackerel was found when the dog owner who discovered him spotted a missing poster and phoned Mr Busbridge.

Mackerel would not come out of the bush and, on closer inspection, he noticed that there was a wire caught around Mackerel’s stomach which was preventing him from moving.

The wire was a snare designed to trap foxes or similar pest animals.

Mr Busbridge said: “At first I thought it was just some wire, but I was aghast to realise it was a snare designed to trap animals.

“The idea that someone would not only think it is an humane way of catching an animal, but to think it was safe for use in a residential area is unbelievable.”

After Mackerel was extricated from the snare, he was taken to a local vets, where he was treated for his injuries, including a nasty slash across his stomach requiring stitches.

After the ordeal, Mackerel was also treated for dehydration and starvation.

The 10-year old cat is expected to make a full recovery though further surgery could be necessary if his injuries do not heal as forecast.

Simon Wild, a spokesman for the National Anti Snaring Campaign said: “This cat was caught in a fox snare and is lucky to have survived as we have known snared cats to die in an hour or two.

“The tragedy is that snares are legal and are easily bought with no instructions, but by law snares must be checked once a day.

“If this had taken place in Scotland we might get a prosecution as the snare would have a number that would be registered to the person setting the snare.

“In England there is no requirement to register the snares and sign up to acknowledge an understanding of legal requirements.”

The matter is currently being investigated by police, who are looking for the source of the snare.

Mr Busbridge said the issue of domestic animals becoming trapped in snares appears to be quite rare.

He added: “We have been round to several different vets in the area and a lot of them were shocked and said it was not something the had heard of before.

“We wanted to tell our story as someone is setting these snares without proper consideration for the effects on animals.”

Mackerel originally went missing on May 9 and was found on May 19.