Police probe as badger found in wire snare dies

A police investigation has been launched after a badger was found wrapped in wire.

The animal was discovered in a residential garden in Belper on 10 June, and had to be put down earlier this week due to the extent of its injuries, the Mid Derbyshire Badger Group said.

The police force's rural team was called after a vet noticed the badger - a protected animal under law in England and Wales - appeared to have been injured by a snare.

Officers are asking anyone with information, including on where the snare may have been, to get in touch.

Sally Hayes, 53, the volunteer who attended the call, said the badger - named Oakey by the group - was found "crying in pain and wrapped in wire".

She said it appeared to have moved from the location it was initially trapped but "can't have travelled very far" before being found.

A vet freed the animal from the wire and despite the rescue group's efforts to nurse it back to health, Ms Haynes said one of its wounds proved difficult to heal.

The group said: "It would have taken several surgeries with little guarantee of success, and the vet's decision was that the kindest course of action would be to put him to sleep."

Oakey was the first rescue at the groups new rehabilitation facility, which was opened in April in an undisclosed location.

"We thought he was going to make it - everyone is upset," Ms Hayes said.

A police spokesperson said: "Badgers are protected under the Protection of Badgers Act 1992 and the use of snares in England is regulated under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.

"Free running snares can be used to control some pests however can never be used to target badgers."

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