Disgust at Budleigh Salterton animal trap

'SHOCKED and disgusted' was how two Budleigh Salterton dog owners were left feeling when they found a barbaric home-made animal trap in Jubilee Fields.

'SHOCKED and disgusted' was how two Budleigh Salterton dog owners were left feeling when they found a barbaric home-made animal trap in Jubilee Fields.

Trevor Swift, 51, and Mandy Foskett, 39, of Dial House, in Cricket Field Lane, were horrified when they spotted a wire noose set between trees on a public space popular with dog walkers.

The pair fears the illegal trap could have been laid to deliberately harm dogs - because the height of the wire snare was set too high for rabbits.

They want to warn dog owners and walkers to be aware someone is deliberately setting out to harm animals.

They said the wire noose was more than a foot from the ground - in line with the head of a dog or fox.

Budleigh Salterton police said they are looking into how the illegal trap came to be in a public place.

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Police community support officer Malcolm Maguire said: "A length of wire fashioned into a sliding lasso shape was handed in at Budleigh Salterton police station.

"The neighbourhood policing team's concern is that this has the potential to cause harm to any animal wild or domesticated that may become entangled in it.

"There is also the possibility that a walker or a child playing may catch a foot in it."

Business mentors Mr Swift and his partner Ms Foskett were walking their Labrador rescue dogs Cloud, aged five-and-a-half, and nine-month-old Kara when another dog walker warned the couple of a snare among the trees.

When they went to investigate, they found a crude wire contraption hanging between two branches by string.

The wire trap had been designed to act as a noose - tightening and cutting into its victim's throat as soon as the animal's head passed through the gap.

The wire contraption had been set in the wooded area near the bench, the couple said.

Mr Foskett said: "The dogs run around in there all the time. When you walk through the wooded area, the dogs run off.

"It's a cruel way to trap an animal, whether it was for a rabbit or fox.

"It was set at a height of 18 inches. It wasn't low enough down for a rabbit.

"It was made of thin wire and would cut into the skin of an animal.

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