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Badger hanged on road sign

11 October 2004 - BBC News

Animal rescue campaigners are appealing for information after a badger was found mutilated and hanged on a road sign in Pembrokeshire.

A local farmer believes a gang of badger-baiters left the animal as a warning to him after he ordered them off his land.

Michael Sharratt from Badger Watch and Dyfed Rescue says baiting is a big problem in south west Wales. He is now appealing for help from the public in stopping the gangs.

"I was contacted by a member of the public who was on the way to work and saw this badger hanging from a sign," he said.

"I went out there and I must say I was shocked and very angry but not surprised. This is the normally unseen and darker side of hunting and wildlife abuse which is going on in west Wales. It has been going on for as long as I have been involved with wildlife protection which is at least 20 years now."

He said he had spoken to the farmer - who wanted to remain anonymous - who said he come across a gang of badger-baiters on his land. It is thought the badger was left there to scare him.

Badger-baiting has been outlawed in the UK for the last 30 years. But Mr Sharratt claims the abundance of remote woodland in west Wales makes it a popular destination for those who continue to hunt badgers in this way.

"Most people don't think this goes on at all but it's going on all the time," he said.

"You have badger-baiters coming from all over the UK to west Wales - mainly from the Welsh valleys. It's extremely difficult to stop, especially in west Wales where you get heavily wooded areas. They can dig and bait these poor creatures all day long without anybody ever seeing them. We would ask if you see these vans with terrier men or if anybody had any information please let us know."

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