Northumberland badger killed by illegal snare in Lucker

The animal was caught by what was believed to be a self-locking noose, an illegal device that had penetrated deep down its throat and had to be cut off in three places.

RSPCA Inspector Rachael Hurst was called to the village of Lucker on Monday (May 29) after a citizen found the deceased animal tied to a wooden fence with the snare.

Law in England and Wales protects badgers, stating that it is an offense to injure, kill, capture or lay a noose to capture a badger.

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The RSPCA has now urged anyone with information about the incident to come forward.

Rachael said: “The noose had lodged deep in the badger’s neck and it appeared to have rolled and twisted several times to free itself.

“It was a sad and harrowing sight to see him dead outside the settlement – which we believe is active. Apparently whoever put this barbaric device in this place did so without even thinking about the suffering his actions would cause.”

“The villagers have heard about the incident and are understandably upset. We urge anyone with information to contact us via our Regulatory Authority Complaints Number on 0300 123 8018.”

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A spokesman said the RSPCA is opposed to the manufacture, sale and use of all snares and traps that cause suffering.

“This incident once again underscores the cruel and indiscriminate nature of the devices and the immense suffering they inflict on animals such as badgers, but also other species such as foxes and even domestic animals.”

The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 prohibits the use of self-locking snares which, as a variation of the traditional sling, tighten when the animal struggles to escape. It is illegal to use these devices on birds, deer, badgers and certain other species, although snares cannot distinguish between animals and often catch the wrong victim.

By law, users of these slings must take all reasonable precautions to prevent injury to protected animals. However, precautionary measures do not guarantee against such a case.

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Although ‘free running’ snares may be legally used in England to capture certain wild mammal species – with the exception of the badger – the device can cause stress, injury and death if it becomes locked due to design, poor maintenance or incorrect positioning.

It is also a legal requirement to inspect slings at least once a day. However, given the seriousness of the injuries RSPCA officials are finding, it appears that many people are not even meeting this minimum requirement.

If you find an injured wild animal, to avoid further distressing it, do not hesitate and call the RSPCA emergency number on 0300 1234 999. Northumberland badger killed by illegal snare in Lucker

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