AN animal rights activist believes his car has been damaged by people he has crossed during his 17-year campaign.

John Gill, from Castleside, Consett, County Durham, waged war against the use of snares when his dog died after getting caught by one.

He travels around the North-East cutting snares to stop them injuring deer, badgers, foxes as well as family pets.

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But yesterday morning he woke to find his Vauxhall Corsa with three of its tyres slashed and all the windows smashed.

Vandals also broke one of the vehicle’s headlights.

Mr Gill, 60, said: “There is no doubt in my mind that this has been done by someone to stop me cutting the snares.

“They think it will deter me but it just makes me more determined.”

He has reported the damage to his car to the police, who have begun an investigation.

Inspector Dave Turner, of Consett Police, said: “At the moment, there is nothing to suggest this is the result of activity Mr Gill is involved in.

“We would ask that anyone who has information about this matter to contact us.”

To call the police ring 03456-043-043.