Police launch investigations after badgers targeted by wildlife criminals in the Highlands; the incidents happened in Glenurquhart and near Inverness
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A BADGER had to be put down after being caught in a snare and "suffering terribly", police have said after launching an appeal to trace the wildlife criminals responsible.
The force has launched two separate investigations into badger persecution after incidents near Inverness and in Glenurquhart.
The first incident occurred on Friday, March 19, when an active badger sett was found to have been intentionally blocked with rocks in the area of Cnoc na Moine, Blackfold, south-west of Inverness.
In a separate incident near Kilmartin and St Ninians, Balnain, a badger was found with a snare wrapped around its neck on Saturday, March 20.
The badger was caught and taken to a local vet but had to be euthanised due to its injuries.
Wildlife crime officer Constable, Daniel Sutherland, said: "Badgers are fully protected under the Protection of Badgers Act 1992. It is illegal to wilfully kill or injure a badger or, damage, destroy or obstruct a badger sett.
"The badger found with the snare around its neck received significant injury and suffered terribly as a result.
"The blocking of any badger sett is also illegal and this appears a targeted action to remove badgers from the area.
"If anyone can provide any information in relation to either of these incidents then please contact 101 or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111."
For more information about the law regarding proper use of snares, and what to do if they find an illegal snare in the countryside you can visit Police Scotland's dedicated web page.
Police Scotland are members of the Partnership for Action Against Wildlife Crime in Scotland (PAWS). Further information can be found at www.PAW.Scotland.gov.uk.