Investigation launched after animals found dead in illegal traps

An investigation is under way after several animals were found dead in illegal traps.

The Scottish SPCA is appealing for information after it was alerted to two incidents of badgers caught in snares in North Lanarkshire since July 5.

Almost 60 incidents involving animals caught in snares and traps – most dead on arrival – were dealt with by the charity between 2018 and 2019.

A Scottish SPCA special investigations inspector, who cannot be named due to undercover operations, said: “Snare and trap operators must check on the device every 24 hours and this was not the case in these incidents.

“These animals were caused unimaginable physical and mental anguish being caught in these traps. The creatures will have experienced slow and agonising deaths. The level of suffering they would have felt is unimaginable.

“The badger in Airdrie had been dead for two or three months and in Motherwell, the animal had been deceased for over 24 hours.

“The badgers that were found in Airdrie and Motherwell must have passed under the fence and become caught in the snare. One under its front legs and the other around its neck.

“Both animals must have panicked and this caused the snare to constrict them further and further.

“The hare was found in the Pentland Hills near Balerno trapped by its front leg.

“By the time we found it, the leg had almost been severed due to the amount of struggle and fight put up by the animal.

“These areas are popular with dog walkers so we would ask that anyone with pets in the areas are vigilant.

“Snares and traps are indiscriminate and domestic animals such as dogs and cats can also be caught in them.”

The snares that killed the badgers were illegal as both had been set on a fence line.

This is unlawful due to the risk of a trapped animal being wholly or partially suspended, which can lead to severe unnecessary suffering.

The snare in Motherwell was made out of nylon, which is an illegal material for use in snares.

The hare was caught in an outdated spring trap which became illegal for use on non-target animals in April 2020.

The charity is urging anyone with information about the incidents to get in contact.


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