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Snared badger heads back to wild in Borders

8 July 2010 - BBC News

The Scottish SPCA has released a badger back into the wild after it was found wounded in a snare in the Scottish Borders. The animal welfare charity sent ambulance driver Mairi Stewart to the scene to recover the badger last month. It was then transported to the Royal Dick Vet Hospital in Edinburgh where it was treated for its injuries. Officers from the Scottish SPCA's special investigations unit are now making inquiries into the incident.

Ms Stewart said: "The badger had a wound to its lower abdomen as the snare had caught it just above the pelvis area. Thankfully the wire had not broken through the skin and an ultrasound revealed no serious internal injuries, apart from some bruising. However, the badger had managed to rip out all of its back claws in its efforts to escape the snare, resulting in quite a significant amount of blood loss."

After veterinary treatment, the badger was transferred to the charity's Wildlife Rescue Centre in Fife for rest and recuperation prior to its release at an undisclosed location in the Borders on Wednesday.

Ch Supt Mike Flynn said: "We are regularly alerted to incidents of non-target species being caught in snares including badgers, deer and domestic animals such as cats and dogs. These incidents highlight how completely indiscriminate snares are. While snaring continues, suffering will continue and that is why we are in favour of an outright ban on the use of snares in Scotland."

He said he hoped amendments to the Wildlife and Countryside Act would at least make it a requirement for all snares to carry an identity tag to help trace whoever put them out. "We hope that this will go some way towards preventing incidents such as this in the future," he said. "But while snares are still being used we are in no doubt that non-target species will continue to fall victim."

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