POLICE are investigating after a badger was killed by a snare trap and dumped at the side of the road on the outskirts of Whitby, North Yorkshire.
The body of the animal, thought to be a healthy female badger about two years old, was found by a member of the public who made the grim discovery in the layby opposite the industrial estate near Stainsacre Lane on the A171.
The North Riding Badger Group, which campaigns against the persecution of badgers and aims to protect their habitats, was called out and the badger was taken to Beck Veterinary Practice for a post mortem examination.
The group also contacted the RSPCA and the police.
A spokesman for the badger group said it was “unusual” to come across something like this and think it may have been illegally killed by someone in the town.
He told the Whitby Gazette: “I must have visited every part of the town to sort out a problem at one time or another.
“They are all over the town.
“The likelihood is somebody had a badger going into the garden and decided to trap it and put this ad-hoc snare up, caught it.
“Then it has died and they have thrown it in the car and thought I have got to get rid of it and at the first available opportunity thrown it out.
“If it was somebody from the countryside I don’t think they would have driven to the town to dispose of it.
“It is a real shame to see a beautiful animal being so badly treated. It is a crime and against the law.”
North Yorkshire Police confirmed the incident had been reported to them and that the carcass of the badger had been removed and taken to the vets.
They added: “It has been reported and we are investigating it.”
If a person is found guilty of cruelty against badgers they can be fined up to £5,000 or face a prison sentence of up to six months.