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Cat loses leg in gin trap

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A CAT had to have a leg amputated after suffering a horrific injury suspected to have been caused by an illegal gin trap.

RSPCA Cymru has launched an appeal for information following the incident, which happened in the Llandysul area last week.

The cat, called Ilka, dragged herself home with a horrific leg injury, and managed to get back to her garden where her shocked owners found her. They took her straight to the vets, where she was given immediate treatment. Sadly, due to her serious injury her leg was amputated.

RSPCA inspector Keith Hogben said: “Poor Ilka has suffered tremendously and must have ripped herself away from the trap which has resulted in the amputation of her leg. Due to her injuries and the markings on her leg, the vet has suspected that it was caused by a gin trap, which is illegal.”

The trap may have been set in fields or hedges in the Croeslan area near Llandysul where Ikla was found injured on June 18.

Inspector Hogben added: “While whoever set this trap probably didn’t expect to capture a cat, they still broke the law – it is illegal to set a gin trap whether or not it catches anything. Gin traps have to be purposefully set in order to catch an animal so this can’t have been an accident.

“We are appealing to anyone with information about this incident to please get in touch by calling our inspectorate appeal line in complete confidence on 0300 123 8018.

“We would also ask local people to be vigilant to keep an eye out for these traps. Not only is it illegal to set a gin trap, it is also illegal to cause an animal to suffer as a result, and domestic animals often fall foul of these traps. Sadly we are seeing an increase in these traps in mid and west Wales.”

Ikla’s owner said they were “shocked and extremely angry” by what had happened.

“It was horrendous. She was spotted dragging herself back across the field, desperate to get home.

“Because the vet thought that Ilka may have damaged nerves in her back in the struggle to get out of the trap, it was touch and go for a few days as whether or not she would survive. Thankfully, she was eventually deemed fit enough to have the operation and her leg was amputated on Wednesday (21 June). She has since been back for a check-up and the vet is pleased with her recovery, although she is quite unsteady on her feet.

“I am angry that someone could have set a gin trap at all, but to do so this close to residential properties shows a callous disregard to the suffering of all animals. I wouldn’t want other cats, or any animal for that matter, to be injured and have to go through the pain and fear that Ilka did.”

Gin traps are mechanical traps designed to catch an animal by their leg, using spring-operated jaws with teeth or a serrated edge. If any legal spring trap has been modified by having teeth cut into the jaws or fencing staples welded onto them, they are also illegal.

The use of gin traps has been outlawed in the UK since 1958, but some are still being illegally used to catch animals such as rabbits and foxes. The sale or possession of such traps is not illegal, but the RSPCA wants to make people aware that they can face prosecution by setting a gin trap.

Anyone found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal faces an unlimited fine and/or six months in prison.

Anyone with information is urged to contact the RSPCA inspectorate appeal line on 0300 123 8018. Calls are treated in confidence. Should you wish to help the RSPCA investigate incidents such as these, you can donate online.

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Directory of services launched by Ceredigion’s Carers Unit as part of Carers Rights Day

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WHETHER you are a new carer or have been caring for someone for a while, it’s important that you understand your rights and you’re able to access the support that is available to you as soon as you need it. Wherever you are in your caring journey.

It is more important than ever that Carers look after their own health and wellbeing as well as the people they care for. This year for Carers Rights Day, Ceredigion Carers Unit and our partners wanted to ensure Carers have the information and the knowledge that they need at their fingertips, so they can feel confident asking for what they need.

Ceredigion Carers Unit and partners have brought together a Bumper Edition of the Winter Carers Magazine. It’s a ‘Carers Rights Day Directory of services’ bursting with useful information and advice on your rights, including, where to get help and support in West Wales.

There is also a free Carers programme of talks & short training sessions online (also with access by telephone). This programme runs right through until end of March 2021.

Being a carer can take its toll on your wellbeing. Following a recent Carers UK survey, 78% of Carers in Wales said that they have been unable to take any, or a sufficient, breaks from their caring role since the outbreak of COVID-19. As a result of this, surveyed Carers also reported that their health and wellbeing had been affected, with 66% reporting that their mental health had worsened due to the pandemic.

Councillor Catherine Hughes, Carers Champion for Ceredigion County Council, said: “The magazine and the programme of talks & short courses appeals to a huge variety of unpaid Carers. There is something in there for parent Carers, dementia Carers, young Carers, those caring for someone affected by mental health or substance misuse issues and everything in between. And relevant to those caring for people of all ages. If you know of anyone with caring responsibilities who would benefit from this magazine or the free advice sessions, please pass it on.”

Catherine Moyle, Carers Support and Development Officer, Ceredigion County Council, Carers Unit said: “A warm welcome is extended to all unpaid Carers in the county and those that you care for. These are challenging times. Reaching out for support when you need it is a form of self-care and it boosts your resilience. It takes a strong person to carry on caring – it takes a stronger, more resilient person to reach out to others.”

The programme of online sessions and the magazine are available on Ceredigion County Council’s website here: http://www.ceredigion.gov.uk/resident/social-care-wellbeing/support-for-carers/carers-rights-day-2020/ and on their Facebook pages @CeredigionCC under events.

If you would prefer to request a printed copy of the magazine or would like any further information, please get in touch with the Ceredigion Carers Unit on 01970 633564 or e-mail carersunit@ceredigion.gov.uk.

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Make this week count to reduce the spread of the virus

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THE NUMBER of coronavirus cases in Ceredigion continues to increase and we ask all residents to follow the guidelines to reduce the spread of the virus. The sacrifices we make in the coming week will help to reduce the spread of the virus.

Over the last week, the County has seen 107 new cases, with 57 Ceredigion residents in the Cardigan area. But we are also seeing increasing numbers in the Lampeter area.

This sudden increase is something that we are not familiar with in Ceredigion but now is the time to work together to stop the spread even further.

We ask that you limit the number of times you leave your house and that you limit your social contact – the fewer people you mix with the less likely the virus will spread. It is better to see the same one or two people regularly than to see lots of different people. In both cases, it is safer to meet them outdoors and ensuring that you always maintain a 2m social distance.

Symptoms of coronavirus include a high temperature, a new continuous cough and a loss or change to sense of smell or taste. But be aware of other symptoms early on, such as headaches, tiredness and general aches and pains usually associated with flu. We are urging people who feel unwell to be extra cautious, especially to practice hand hygiene and distancing, and if in doubt, please book a test.

But only book a test if you have symptoms. If you don’t have symptoms and you go for a test and receive a negative result, it only tells you that you were didn’t have the virus on that day alone.

You can apply for a test online https://gov.wales/apply-coronavirus-covid-19-test or by phoning 119.

If you have come into contact with a positive case or if you or a member of your household have symptoms, you must all self-isolate immediately. This means that you cannot leave the house for any reason, except to go for a test.

If you receive a positive test, you must self-isolate for 10 days from when your symptoms started, meaning that you can leave your house on day 11. If you are a contact of a positive case, you must self-isolate for 14 days from when their symptoms started, meaning you can leave the house on day 15. It is critical that anyone needing to self-isolate completes the full number of days.

If you have been contacted by the Contact Tracing Team and been told to self-isolate, you may be entitled to Financial Support under the Self-Isolation Support Payment Scheme A £500 fixed payment will be available to people who qualify on the basis of low income, are unable to work from home and, as a consequence, will suffer a loss of income. To check if you are eligible for this payment and to make an application visit http://www.ceredigion.gov.uk/resident/coronavirus-covid-19/self-isolation-support-payment-scheme/

Over the last week, we have seen our communities pulling together to stop the spread of the virus. Businesses in Cardigan have put in place procedures to ensure the safety of their customers whilst others have closed voluntarily during this period. We have also seen community spirit with support being provided to those who are self-isolating.

Remain vigilant and remember the key messages:

Keep a 2m social distance from each other when out and about;
Wash your hands regularly;
Limit your social contact;
Work from home wherever possible;
Wear a face mask in indoor public places, shops and on public transport.

Together, we can keep Ceredigion safe.

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Development of Ceredigion’s first Wellbeing Hub approved

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THE PROPOSAL to develop a Wellbeing Centre in Lampeter was approved at a Cabinet meeting on 01 December 2020.

As part of its commitment to form an Adult Wellbeing Program, Ceredigion County Council intends to establish Wellbeing Hubs in North, Mid and South Ceredigion as well as pop-up provision in other locations in the County. Each Wellbeing Hub (area) will host a ‘Wellbeing Centre’ – a facility that enhances its core offer of Leisure provision with areas for meeting, consultation and treatment to contribute to improving the physical, mental and social well-being of the County’s residents.

Councillor Catherine Hughes said, “It is clear that residents’ support needs are changing and the Wellbeing Centre should be able to offer assistance and provide services to ensure that they respond to need and offer support to a wide range of support for people of all ages. It’s great to see this positive first step for the residents of mid Ceredigion.”

The Wellbeing Centre development concept will be presented to the Corporate Project Management Board and Development Group to ensure that it follows the agreed protocols for a project of this status. Ceredigion County Council intends to develop further Wellbeing Centres in the North and South of the County. The learning through the creation of the first Centre in Lampeter will influence the other Centres and implement the program in the future.

The Wellbeing Hub in Lampeter is being developed with the help of a grant from the Welsh Government.

In approving the application, this allows the Welfare Services to progress the project work on the development of the Wellbeing Centre in Lampeter.

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