The Metropolitan police have come to the conclusion that the Croydon Cat Killer does not exist. They have decided that the 400 cats allegedly killed by a person or persons were in fact killed in road traffic accidents. Their bodies were then scavenged and partially eaten by foxes.
SNARL are surprised
The decision goes against earlier evidence which provided an indication that the cuts on the mutilated cats were made by a human. The rescue charity working with the police, South Norwood Animal Rescue League (SNARL), are surprised at the Metropolitan police’s announcement. They have gathered evidence over the last three years which does indicate, they say, human involvement. They add that they have expert opinion to back it up.
Killed by cars and eaten by foxes
The investigation was launched in 2015 into reports of mutilated cats in the Croydon area initially and then across England. The Metropolitan police now say that 25 post-mortem examinations have been carried out. They found no evidence of human involvement in the killing and mutilation of the cats.
The Met police say:
“[The injuries inflicted on cats were] likely to be the result of predation or scavenging by wildlife on cats killed in vehicle collisions”.
As a consequence, all the killings are now going to be recorded as “no crime”.
They followed up on six suspicious cases identified by post-mortem examinations. They found that there was CCTV footage which indicated that foxes carrying pet body parts occurred on three occasions. Of these six suspicious cases, the head of veterinary forensic pathology at the Royal Veterinary College found puncture wounds not previously seen. She concluded that some of the animals had been scavenged.
The police had thought that a single person was moving around the country killing and mutilating cats to make a statement. They have now discounted that idea.
Chief Inspector Stuart Orton of the Hertfordshire police said:
“Evidence suggests the animals had been predated by foxes – in a rabbit’s case after being removed from a hutch, and in a cat’s case after death, likely caused by a road traffic collision.”
Closure for cat owners?
They hope that their assessment brings comfort to pet owners. I doubt that it has. I suspect that there will be many upset cat owners. However, if one is brutally honest, it does highlight the dangers encountered by domestic cats allowed to roam freely in England. And let’s remember that 99.5% of all domestic cats in England are allowed to roam freely. Vehicular collisions with cats are not uncommon. Many cats live in urban areas where there is lots of road traffic.
Personally, it still surprises me that the default situation with respect to cat ownership in England is to let cats wander where they want to. I would hope that people reflect on their decision and that some cat owners will now confine their cats to their home and the back garden (yard).
The Metropolitan police’s decision puts the onus of responsibility on cat owners. It is for this reason that they might be upset at the police’s conclusions.
The general backlash from Internet users who are cat lovers is that the Metropolitan police are divesting themselves of this investigation because it is taking up too much time and no progress is being made. They argue that the police have given up and therefore found a reason why they should stop.
This is supported by experienced vets from Grove Lodge Veterinary Group on Facebook who say they are certain the cuts on the mutilated bodies are man made. They want the case reopened.
Source: BBC and thanks to Alexander for the heads up.