MPs have been asked to support a petition signed by 50,000 people demanding a ban on killer badger snares. Tory MP Roger Gale, chairman of the all-party Parliamentary Group for Animal Welfare, warned that the snares also kill and maim cats and dogs.

Pets are also being killed by snares. Mr Gale branded snares “vile and inhuman” as he prepared to present the petition to Parliament. He said snares are torturing wildlife, including badgers and domestic pets, to death. And he highlighted what he said was an alarming increase in deaths and horrific injuries.

Dr Elaine King, Conservation Officer of the National Federation of Badger Groups, said: “In recent months whole social groups of badgers have been wiped out with snares, having been left to die painful deaths.

Toll of Cruelty

“One badger had dug a trench more than a foot deep in its struggle to break free.” She said that in another case, a legal “free-running” snare partially decapitated a badger, found suffering agonies, still alive despite having its wind-pipe sliced through.

Some farmers blame badgers for spreading bovine tuberculosis. The federation said a government-backed experiment to address badger-culling as a way of controlling tuberculosis advocates the use of legal snares to trap badgers.

But it said this can result in other animals, including cats and dogs, being injured or killed.”