Warning: contains images some may find distressing

A League supporter has told how she was left horrified after discovering a dead badger in the road with a snare embedded around its neck.

The supporter, who doesn’t want to be named for fear of reprisals, said she was on a road near Wilton in Wiltshire when she made the gruesome discovery.

She believes the snared badger is linked to the commercial game shooting industry, as there are two shooting estates near where the creature was found.

She told the League: “I drive that road regularly, and just before 7am I saw a badger lying in the road. Initially thinking it had been hit by a car I stopped and moved it out of the road.

“But I got out of the car to pick it up and was absolutely horrified.

Badger in snare

“She had bled out on the road; dead but only recently. She had a snare lodged between half-an-inch to an inch deep all the way around her neck. It looked like an illegal self-locking snare.”

Gamekeepers set snares to trap and kill predators that would otherwise kill and eat game birds – birds that will just go on to be shot for ‘sport’.

With costs per peg in that area of Wiltshire running at more than £1,500, shooting is big business and pressure is put on gamekeepers to ensure there are as many birds as possible available to the guns.

But while the senseless killing of predators is enough of a tragedy, snares are indiscriminate and other non-target species like badgers are also caught and killed – often dying a slow and protracted death.

“There’s a badger run coming out of the hedge and I think she’s broken away somehow, and God knows how long she was like that. She was very thin.  

“She had an injury by the tail and looks to be consistent with being hit by a vehicle.

“Getting hit by a car would have been a blessing in disguise really.”

Badger in snare - close up

The police were called but with no evidence linking the snare to either estate they were unable to take any further action.

However, the witness also reported the incident to the League’s Animal Crimewatch service.

Animal Crimewatch is a confidential hotline for reporting cruelty to animals in the name of ‘sport’ via our telephone service on 0300 444 1234 or email at [email protected] Information provided could:

  • Help our investigators bring offenders to justice.
  • Support our vital campaigning work calling for changes to the law to improve the lives of thousands of animals.

ENDS