ANOTHER animal has been found dead in the North-East after it was caught in a snare.

The badger, one of several creatures to have died in a similar way in recent years, was found by a countryside ranger at Beamish Burn Wood, also known as Carricks Hill Wood, near Stanley, north Durham. County council ranger Michael Munro discovered the animal with the wire snare wrapped round its body earlier this month. Police are investigating.

The wood is owned by the county council, but no one has permission to set snares in it.

Mr Munro said: “The badger was lying on its back with its mouth open. It had got its head and front feet through the loop of the snare and had not been able to get back out.

“It looked as if it had been struggling and had pulled itself along the ground.

“One of our other rangers said it looked as if the snare was deliberately set that way. This kind of thing should not go on.”

For years, opponents in the region have protested at the use of snares because there have been records of them catching badgers, foxes and domestic cats.

Late last year, Durham Badger Group warned against snares after the RSPCA confirmed it was investigating the case of a fox that died a slow death in a snare. The animal was found by animal rights activist John Gill near Stanhope, County Durham.

Opponents of snares say they are indiscriminate and larger animals struggle for many hours before dying.

Under British law, the use of some snares by gamekeepers and landowners is permitted.

Anyone setting them has to check them regularly to ensure no large creatures are trapped.