PEOPLE are being urged to report illegal snares after a badger was found trapped.

The badger was discovered caught in an illegally set snare at Choppington Community Woodlands Local Nature Reserve in Northumberland.

The badger was extremely distressed and its injuries indicated it had been in the snare for more than 24 hours.

The dog walker who came across the badger put her coat over the animal and rang the RSPCA which took it to a local vet who removed the snare and treated its injuries.

Northumberland Wildlife Trust and Northumbria Police are urging members of the public, especially dog walkers, to be vigilant.

Such illegally set devices do not discriminate and could easily trap dogs or cats or other small mammals.

The badger has since been released back onto the site.

Badgers are protected by law but have often been persecuted over the years.

The trust works closely with Northumberland Badger Group to stamp out badger crime.

The Group has been told of the snaring incident. Trust chief executive Mile Pratt said that illegal snaring was believed to be “quite widespread”

He said: “We get regular incidents of snaring of protected animals.

“Domestic animals can also be caught in snares which are set indiscriminately.

“If snares are set near badgers at certain times they can have an effect on populations.

“Trapped animals can suffer a painful and horrible death.”

Any more snares at the Choppington reserve should be reported to Bedlington Police Station on 03456 043043 or the Northumberland Badger Group on 07901 951 565.

Trapped or injured animals should be reported to the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999.