Page last updated at 17:21 GMT, Wednesday, 14 May 2008 18:21 UK

Dead badgers dumped at roadside

Badger - Picture by Science Photo Library
Police believe the badgers were killed by snares

A police investigation is continuing in the Borders after two dead badgers were found dumped on a roadside.

The incident took place earlier this month near Duns and it was later found that both animals had been snared.

It has prompted claims from animal rights groups that people snaring badgers were trying to pass off their victims as "road kill".

A spokeswoman for Lothian and Borders Police confirmed inquiries were ongoing into the discovery.

Wildlife group Scottish Badgers has voiced concerns about the incident which took place on 2 May.

These traps are far too widely used and far too easy to misuse
Ross Minnett
Advocates for Animals

It said it had suspected for some time that badgers being killed illegally were being "dumped amongst the carnage of road kill".

Species Protection Officer Ian Hutchison said it highlighted the cruelty of such snares.

"Snares are meant to restrain animals until such time as the person who sets the snare comes along and either humanely dispatches the target species or releases the non-target species unharmed," he said.

"Clearly this has not happened here and both animals have had their necks broken by the snares - one had almost been beheaded."

It has prompted action group Advocates for Animals to renew its call for an outright ban on snares.

"These traps are far too widely used and far too easy to misuse," said campaigns director Ross Minnett.

"Until they are seen for what they are - lethal, indiscriminate and unacceptable - tragic incidents of this type will keep occurring."

Information sought

A spokeswoman for Lothian and Borders Police confirmed it was investigating the incident.

"I can confirm that two dead badgers were found at the side of the road," she said.

"Inquiries concluded that they may have been killed by the use of snares."

She added that anyone with information about the incident should contact police.

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