Badger deaths are investigated
22 April 2008 - BBC News
The RSPCA is investigating whether some farmers have taken a proposed cull of
badgers into their own hands. Four animals were found dead in a field near
Crymych, in Pembrokeshire on 18 April. Tests are being carried out on their
bodies as there were no visible wounds on the badgers, the charity said. However
the location of the area and details of the cull have yet to be decided.
RSPCA inspector Gemma Black said: "These badgers died in suspicious
circumstances, but we need the public to help us pursue this matter. It may be
that some farmers have decided to kill these badgers following the Welsh
Assembly Government's decision to cull badgers as part of the campaign to
eradicate TB in cattle. We would like to remind everyone that the minister for
rural affairs has said that this cull will be licensed and monitored by assembly
government and that any other form of badger killing will be illegal."
A member of the public alerted the RSPCA to the incident on 18 April.
Dai Davies, president of farmers' union NFU Cymru, said: "We don't condone
this behaviour. Badgers are still a protected species and if any behaviour like
this is seen, people should call the police," Mr Davies added. "As the minister
herself said the other day, there is a proper procedure supposed to be in place
for this and we welcome that."
An assembly government spokesperson confirmed the badgers had been passed to
them for a post-mortem under the Wildlife Incident Investigation Scheme. "When
the Rural Affairs Minister made the announcement about the TB eradication
programme it was made clear that the badger remains a protected species in Wales
and the conditions of the Badger Act are firmly in force," the spokesperson
Dyfed Powys Police said they were aware of the incident, but would not become
involved in the investigation unless the RSPCA requested. Following an RSPCA
investigation, the Police will now investigate following the post mortem
Anyone who may have information about the incident may contact the RSPCA on
0300 1234 999
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