Injured badger released into wild after surviving snare

THE Scottish SPCA has released a badger back into the wild after it was found wounded in a snare in the Borders last month.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 14th July 2010, 11:24 am
Updated Wednesday, 14th July 2010, 11:24 am

Scotland's animal welfare charity sent ambulance driver Mairi Stewart to the scene to recover the badger. It was then transported to the Royal Dick Vet Hospital in Edinburgh where it was treated for its injuries.

Officers from the Scottish SPCA's special investigations unit are now investigating the incident.

Ambulance driver Stewart said: "The badger had a wound to its lower abdomen as the snare had caught it just above the pelvis area.

Sign up to our daily Berwickshire News Today newsletter

"Thankfully the wire had not broken through the skin and an ultra sound revealed no serious internal injuries, apart from some bruising.

"However, the badger had managed to rip out all of its back claws in its efforts to escape the snare, resulting in quite a significant amount of blood loss.

"It was very weak and dehydrated and vets estimated that it had been in the snare for at least 24 hours, possibly longer."

After vet treatment the badger was transferred to the charity's Wildlife Rescue Centre in Fife for rest and recuperation prior to its release at an undisclosed location in the Borders last Wednesday.

Scottish SPCA chief superintendent Mike Flynn said: "We are regularly alerted to incidents of non-target species being caught in snares including badgers, deer and domestic animals such as cats and dogs.

"These incidents highlight how completely indiscriminate snares are. While snaring continues, suffering will continue and that is why we are in favour of an outright ban on the use of snares in Scotland.

"We look forward to the planned amendment to the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, which will make it a requirement for all snares to bear an identity tag making it easier to trace those who misuse snares.

"We hope that this will go some way towards preventing incidents such as this in the future, but while snares are still being used we are in no doubt that non-target species will continue to fall victim."

Anyone with information relating to the misuse of snares or persecution of badgers should contact the Scottish SPCA Animal Helpline on 03000 999 999. Information is treated in the strictest confidence.