Police appeal for information after badger butchered and hung from tree

Warwickshire Police appeal for information after a badger carcass was found near Rugby, hanging from a tree, with evidence of dogs having attacked the body before further mutilation of the remains.

On Tuesday, 19th January 2021 officers from the Rural Crime Team of Warwickshire Police attended a location on a disused railway line near Rugby in Warwickshire. To their horror they found the remains of a badger which had been hung in a tree and then butchered. The remains were found strewn across the ground, paws severed with a sharp implement, skin pulled back and guts removed. It also appeared that dogs were involved with ripping at the remains. It is not known at what stage the badger was killed amongst the abuse it was subjected to.

Craig Fellowes, Badger Trust Crime Officer commented:

‘This incident just shows the levels of persecution that badgers face. Sadly, nothing surprises me when dealing with wildlife crime, but the images recorded by Warwickshire Police are so shocking they’re not suitable to share.
We are working in partnership with the police, in conjunction with the local badger group on the ground, Warwickshire Badger Group, and appeal for any information that could lead to potential suspects being identified. The public play a huge part in identifying and reporting wildlife crime, and here we really do need help to help catch those responsible for the abuse of this animal.’

Badgers are the UK’s most demonised protected species, with badger crime a UK Wildlife Crime Priority for over ten years because of the scale of persecution. A recent report stated that a minimum of 270 incidents of illegal badger persecution were reported to police forces in 2019 in England and Wales. The Badger Trust knows that this is just the tip of the iceberg, and fears that thousands of crimes are unreported or unrecognised.

Anyone with information on this incident should contact PC Andy King, part of the Rural Crime Team with Warwickshire Police, quoting Incident Number 148 (19th Jan 2021). An online reporting form can be found at https://bit.ly/3al5vDR. Information can also be given anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

How you can help us stop badger crime

At Badger Trust we have an experienced Crime Team dedicated to monitoring and tracking badger crime across England and Wales. They work closely with the police to follow ongoing investigations and assist as needed. This ensures that no case slips through the cracks, giving the best chance to achieve more wildlife crime prosecutions.

By reporting badger crime the information you provide could help investigators bring offenders to justice. Your reports support vital campaigning work calling for changes to the law to improve the lives of thousands of animals.