The RSPCA is appealing for information after a badger was shot in Derbyshire.
A member of the public contacted the animal charity after finding the injured badger in Longcliffe, Brassington, on Wednesday, 11 October.
An RSPCA inspector arrived to collect the badger, however sadly she died in the inspector’s van while on the way to a vets in Ashbourne.
RSPCA inspector Mick Darling said: “The badger was discovered at the side of the footpath and she had an entry and exit wound on her body which looks to have been caused by a shotgun slug or a single bullet.
“It is clear that whoever shot this poor badger did so deliberately – an act which we cannot understand why someone would do. People might think that as there is a cull happening in areas of the country then it is acceptable and legal to kill badgers, but this is simply not the case.
“The wildlife crime unit at Derbyshire Police have also been made aware of this and would like anyone with any information to contact them in confidence.
“Badgers and their setts are protected under the Protection of Badgers Act 1992. In England and Wales, it is an offence to intentionally kill, injure or take a badger – or attempt to – except under licence.
“Shooting a badger without a licence is an offence and anyone responsible could be prosecuted.
“We’d like to hear from anyone who has any information in connection with the death of this badger. Anyone who thinks they may be able to help our investigation should call our appeal line on 0300 123 8018, or Derbyshire Police on 101.”
If you think someone has committed an offence under the Protection of Badgers Act 1992, please contact the Derbyshire Police wildlife crime unit via 101 or call our 24-hour cruelty line on 0300 1234 999.
For advice on what to do if you find a wild animal that is injured or otherwise in need of help, visit our website.
To help the RSPCA continue rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming animals in desperate need of care please visit www.rspca.org.uk/give.