The RSPCA is appealing for information after a badger had to be rescued from a snare in Stockport.

A member of the public contacted the animal welfare charity after finding the animal trapped and in pain in Stockport, on 17 April.

An officer collected the badger and took him to the RSPCA’s Stapeley Grange Wildlife Centre, in Nantwich, Cheshire, where he was safely removed from the snare and examined for injuries.

The snare – which is made from wire and tightens as the animal tries to get free – dug into the chest area, causing a deep wound.  The wound was also heavily infected. The badger is still being cared for at the wildlife centre where he is being kept for observations.

Lee Stewart, manager at Stapeley Grange, said: “Snares are sadly legal to catch certain animals, but it is illegal to set snares for some animals including badgers, deer and birds. Snares can’t distinguish between animals and it is thought that up to 69% of snared animals are not the intended species. Sadly we do see animals come into us with snare trap injuries as a result.

“We are hoping this badger will recover but it is still early to say.”

The RSPCA is opposed to the manufacture, sale and use of all snares and any trap which causes suffering.

Anyone who has any information should contact the RSPCA’s appeals line on 0300 1234 999.

Information on snares

  • The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 outlawed the self-locking snare which, as a variation on the traditional noose, tightens with a ratchet-like mechanism.

  • Under the Act, it is illegal to set a snare to catch a badger, and users of legal free-running snares must take all reasonable precautions to prevent them catching, or causing injury to protected animals like badgers, but precautions provide no guarantee against such an event.

  • It is also a legal requirement that snares be checked at least once a day, yet from the severity of the injuries caused to a lot of animals it seems that many people do not follow even this minimal requirement.

The public are also urged never try to and free an animal from a snare or trap – due to risk of injury to the human and animal, and it could also be an offence if the animal was legally caught. People instead should stay back to avoid stressing the animal and call the RSPCA with the location on the charity’s 24-hour emergency line, 0300 1234 999. The snared animal will also need veterinary attention before returning to the wild. Advice is also available on the RSPCA’s website.

The RSPCA is a charity and relies on public donations to exist. It costs the centre £50,000 to feed the 6,500 animals which are admitted every year. Anyone who would like to support the vital work of Stapeley Grange can now donate online at www.justgiving.com/campaigns/charity/rspcahq/stapeleygrange.