AN investigation is under way after the mutilated body of a badger was found in a Hertford wood.

The RSPCA and Hertfordshire Constabulary are appealing for information from members of the public after the animal, and a fox, were found by a passerby in the wood near Mangrove Lane on Wednesday (April 23, 2012).

The badger had a snare around its waist which was attached to a stake on a badger sett.

The animal had a torn ear, multiple puncture wounds in its head and wounds around its head and neck. The fox was found in a nearby field.

A post mortem carried out on the badger showed it had died of trauma and blood loss from an attack, consistent with a dog attack, but the injuries could also have been caused by an attack with a blunt instrument.

The fox could have been hit by a car, although it was some distance from the road.

RSPCA inspector Tina Ward said: “This is clearly concerning that two bodies have been found close together in suspicious circumstances.

“We are working with the police on this investigation, and have made a number of local enquiries.

“But what we would really like is to hear from anyone who may have seen anyone acting suspiciously in the area in recent weeks.

“Anyone with information is asked to either contact the RSPCA cruelty on 0300 1234 999 or the police. People cannot be allowed to get away with such cruelty.”

PC Jos Bartlett from Hertfordshire Constabulary’s rural operational support team, ROST, said: “This is a very cruel and spiteful crime, which we take very seriously and need assistance from the public to solve.

“We work very closely with the RSPCA and the local badger group and would encourage anyone with information on this crime to contact the ROST directly, or crime stoppers on 0800 555 111.”