Westleton: Investigation launched after badgers found dumped in ditch

AN investigation has been launched after a number of badgers were found dumped in a ditch after apparently being shot.

Eight badgers were found in Westleton, between Southwold and Leiston, on Friday morning floating in water.

The animal rights group, Suffolk Badger & Other Mammals, last night condemned the killings as “barbaric”.

A police spokeswoman said because of the badgers’ decomposition they may have been lying in the ditch for several months. Adrian Hinchliffe, from Suffolk Badger & Other Mammals, said the “barbaric” killings were the worst case he had ever come across.

He said: “Some individuals think it is sport, whilst others believe the recent spotlight on badgers facing the threat of a cull in the Bovine TB hotspots of the south-west is a green light to kill these animals here in Suffolk.

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“This is not the case. It is against the law to wilfully harm a badger or intentionally damage or destroy a badger sett.

“Badgers are not uncommon but are one of the most persecuted animals, which is why they have their protection status.

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“The ultimate goal of vaccinating the cattle may still be in the future but this blatant disregard for the law reinforces the fact that badgers are still being baited, snared, shot and poisoned here in Suffolk as around the rest of the country. It is not a thing of the past.”

The police spokeswoman said the incident was being treated as serious and the force’s wildlife officer would be investigating the matter today.

Anyone with information should call police on 101.

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