Secret footage shows badger caught in snare near Sheffield river

Undercover cameras captured a gamekeeper setting a snare which trapped and wounded a badger just metres from a popular Sheffield nature reserve.

By Lizzie Day
Thursday, 21st May 2020, 8:42 pm
Updated Tuesday, 26th May 2020, 3:11 pm

A badger was caught in a snare in Sheffield after a gamekeeper was filmed setting snares near the Wyming Brook Nature Reserve in the Rivelin Valley.

Anti-blood sport charity, the Hunt Investigations Team (HIT) set up secret cameras on the Moscar Estate in the Peak District after they received a tip off that wildlife was at risk.

The secretly recorded footage shows a young female badger being trapped in a snare for hours, before she was rescued by volunteers from the charity.

Footage shows a badger caught in a snare on the Moscar Estate.

However, the Moscar Estate maintain that the animal was unintentionally caught by a gamekeeper and would have been released if found.

Under the Protection of Badgers Act 1992, it is illegal to intentionally kill, injure, take a badger or intend to do so in England and Wales.

The injured badger, who has been re-named Millie was taken to a vet and sanctuary after she suffered cuts to her neck and paws alongside dehydration caused by the hours she spent trying to dig herself free.

HIT volunteer Jenny Robbins expressed fears that wildlife is being persecuted during lockdown.

"The Moscar Estate is an area we are particularly concerned about, we were there in 2017 and found that gamekeepers were snaring badgers.”

The charity claims the snares on badger runs have now been removed following their investigation and are now urging the public to report any suspicious behaviour.

A representative for Campaign for Protection of Moorland Communities who work with the Moscar Estate said: “This is yet another example of masked activists causing criminal damage and attempting to manipulate evidence in order to intimidate and harass a young gamekeeper who was carrying out his job entirely legally on private land, in which a badger was unintentionally caught.

“Their actions undoubtedly resulted in the badger suffering far greater stress than being quickly and quietly released by the operator, as can be clearly seen from their footage.

“The snare trap which was used is a type which goes over and beyond the legal requirements in that they follow a strict Code of Practice meaning that if a non-target species is accidentally caught they are able to safely release the animal unharmed.

“The gamekeepers do not target the Wildlife Reserves as HIT have suggested, the estate carry out pest and predator control on their own land or on land in which they have written permission on.”

A spokesperson for South Yorkshire Police said: “Our local Wildlife Crime Officer is aware of the footage in circulation and investigating the circumstances.

“In addition the officer is investigating a number of damage to snares that have been reported in the local area.

“South Yorkshire Police is committed to investigating offences of wildlife persecution and investigate those who seek to damage property of persons engaging in lawful activity.”