A BADGER has been cruelly snared and then beaten to death on a public footpath in the Highland capital, prompting the Scottish SPCA to appeal for information to catch the culprit or culprits.
The grim discovery of the badly beaten animal was made by two women walking in the Inshes area of Inverness.
They alerted the animal welfare charity when they walked into its Highlands and Islands Animal Rescue and Rehoming Centre to report that they’d seen the badger on the path close to a nearby garden centre.
Senior Inspector Gill MacGregor found the animal on its back with a deep laceration to the throat.
A post mortem examination has now revealed that the badger was snared using baler twine and killed with a heavy blow to the head using a blunt instrument.
The charity has been conducting enquiries into this incident since it happened on 30 September but so far the investigation has not resulted in any leads.
The Scottish SPCA is now appealing to the public for help.
Senior Inspector MacGregor said, “This is a very unusual incident as it appears that the badger was deliberately killed and then placed on what is a very busy footpath, possibly with the intention of it being discovered.
“We have been advised there are no known badger setts in the area so this rules out the possibility that the badger crawled there or was killed at the location where it was found.
“The injuries the badger sustained were horrendous and this was an incredibly cruel act. I initially thought the badger’s throat had been slit, but in fact it had been snared and the baler twine was still deeply embedded in its neck.
“This would have caused a tremendous amount of suffering before the badger was finally killed with a blow to the head.
“We are very keen to speak to anyone who knows anything about this incident. The persecution of badgers is abhorrent and killing a badger is an offence under the Protection of Badgers Act 1992. The use of an illegally set snare is also an offence under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.”
Anyone with information should call the Scottish SPCA Animal Helpline on 03000 999 999.