Badger killing prompts investigation by police

Essex County Standard: Badger killing prompts investigation by police Badger killing prompts investigation by police

THE RSPCA and police have launched an investigation after a series of attacks on badgers.

A female badger was discovered dead in woodland in Thorpe with facial injuries and a noose around her neck.

A resident got in touch after a police appeal to say he found the badger dead on a field and dragged it away using a rope around the animal’s neck.

However, it is not known how the badger was killed.

At least three badger setts were blocked in north Essex at the weekend, prompting police to consider using cameras to catch crooks in the act.

PC Andy Long, Essex’s Police’s wildlife crime officer, said officers would be examining the dead badger, found near Golden Lane, about 50m from the main road, on Saturday at 11am.

He said: “We will now begin to establish the circumstances in which this badger was killed.”

Dawn Avery, RSPCA chief inspector, said the badger would have suffered a great deal.

She said: “This was a horrible case of deliberate and callous cruelty towards a protected animal.

“It is against the law to target wildlife in this way and I am very pleased the police are taking this issue seriously.

“We urge anyone with any information to come forward and let us or the police know.”

Renee Hockley-Byam, chairman of the North East Essex Badger Group, said the incident was one of several in the area at the weekend.

Mrs Hockley-Byam said: “The badgers had been blocked in for two days. We don’t know whether they survived or not.”

The first sett was in Great Maplestead and the others were in Gestingthorpe.

Mrs Hockley-Byam urged people to call the group’s hotline on 07751 572175 if they come across a sick or injured badger.

! Officers want to speak to anyone who saw suspicious activity on the B1033 Colchester Road and Golden Lane, Thorpe, on Friday or Saturday.

Anyone with any information can call the RSPCA on 0300 1238018, or Essex Police’s wildlife crime office on 101.

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