The RSPCA has warned that deliberately poisoning cats is a criminal offence after apparently being alerted to a social media site in Skegness where one user was discussing the possibility.
The warning comes after the RSPCA was made aware of a Facebook group from Skegness where one user was discussing the use of poison to deter cats from their garden – and mistakenly thinking it was legal to do so.
If a cat ingests even a small amount of poison such as anti-freeze this can lead to kidney failure and death.
The animal welfare charity has warned that those who are caught and convicted of any such offence can face a prison sentence.
RSPCA chief inspector Laura Jones said: “We would ask anyone thinking about using poison in this way to be aware that deliberate poisoning could mean a £20,000 fine and/or six months in prison under the Animal Welfare Act.”
The person who made the comments has not been traced – but the RSPCA says it wants to send out a clear message to people that it is an offence to lay poisons if they want to deter cats from their gardens.
Chief inspector Jones added: “Owners should be vigilant and contact a vet immediately if they suspect that their pet may have been in contact with poison or if they see any warning signs or symptoms.
“The sooner the animal is treated, the better their chances of surviving.”
If anyone has any information about this incident or any related incidents they are urged to contact the RSPCA appeal line on 0300 123 8018. Calls will be treated in confidence.