A badger caught in a snare on the Bowcombe Estate at Shorwell could have been trapped in the device for more than a week.

The animal had to be put down because of its injuries as the snare, attached to a pole which the badger had dragged an unknown distance, had cut deep into its chest.

Joan and Julian Tisdale, of Freshwater, both members of the League Against Cruel Sports, were distressed to find the badger caught up in shrubbery near a fence and footpath and called the police and the RSPCA.

RSPCA officer Mark Buggie attended and the badger was cut free and taken to Green and Forster Veterinary Surgery, Newport.

The vet who attended the badger believed it had been in the snare for more than a week.

Simon Wild, director of the National Anti-Snaring Campaign told the County Press: “It is disgusting snares have been put in an area where badgers are foraging. They are a protected animal and it would be clear to any gamekeeper laying snares that if badgers inhabit an area, then snares must not be laid.”

Police said they were working with the RSPCA to investigate the report.