Doomed badger struggled for 24 hours in Dept of Agriculture snare

25 Apr

Photos released by Badger Watch Ireland show a badger injured so badly in a Department of Agriculture snare that a vet called to the scene had to put the exhausted animal out of its misery. ICABS is joining Badgerwatch in its renewed calls on the government to stop this cruel snaring operation which has already left tens of thousands of badgers dead.

This badger was found exhausted and almost unconscious in a snare cruelly set by the Department of Agriculture. Its injuries were so severe that a vet had to put the animal out of its misery.

Statement from Badger Watch Ireland

She was a soft target for the trapper. One of last year’s cubs, likely. She had struggled in the wire snare for more than twenty four hours. It caught her across the groins and abdomen. The more she struggled, the tighter it became. Four times She had circled a branch on the ditch in her attempt to free herself until the branch broke. This is the barbaric multi-strand wire snare which the Irish Department of Agriculture describes as a “restraining harness” and would have us believe that the snared badger relaxes in it while awaiting its fate.

Exhausted and almost unconscious the badger lay until locals became aware of her plight. The wire had cut into her body and its marks were plainly seen. The Department argue that there’s a “stop” on the snare unlike illegal snares which are free-running. The stop in effect holds the animal in an eleven-inch noose, far too tight for an animal the size of a badger. A vet was called to attend the badger but such were her injuries it was necessary to immediately end the suffering.

It is a national scandal that the Department, which snares thousands of badgers annually as part of a highly controversial TB Eradication scheme, sees fit to allow snaring of badgers during their very vulnerable breeding season, January – May (Inclusive). The young sow was checked to established if she was lactating. Luckily, she was not, otherwise her dependent cubs would have suffered the fate that no doubt many other orphaned cubs suffered – a lingering death from starvation and hypothermia.

Badgerwatch is now calling on our Government for an immediate halt to its badger culling operations. What have we got to show for almost two decades of slaughtering the animals? Ireland’s bovine TB levels rocketed by 13% in 2007.


Please appeal to Minister Mary Coughlan to show compassion and suspend the cruel badger snaring operation. Remind her that the badger is a protected species in Ireland and that the Protection of Animals Act, for which she is responsible, makes it an offence to cause unnecessary suffering to an animal. Tell her that a recent report stated that “badger culling apparently has the capacity to increase badger-to-badger transmission of infection, potentially undermining anticipated reductions in badger-to-cattle transmission.”

Minister Mary Coughlan
Department of Agriculture
Agriculture House,
Kildare Street, Dublin 2.
Tel: 01-607 2000 or LoCall 1890-200510.
Fax: 01-661 1013.

Please write to the Minister for the Environment and the National Parks and Wildlife Service. Remind them that the Wildlife Act, for which they are responsible, lists the badger as a protected species. Demand that they stop licensing the snaring and killing of thousands of badgers as part of a cruel and discredited TB eradication scheme.

Minister John Gormley
Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government
Custom House, Dublin 1.
Tel: 01 888 2403.
Fax: 01 878 8640.

Dr. Ciaran O’Keeffe
Director, Licensing Unit
National Parks and Wildlife Service
7 Ely Place, Dublin 2
Email: Ciaran.O’
Tel: 01-888 3214

A badger found dead in a Department of Agriculture snare in County Roscommon.

At the base of the tree to which the snare is attached are scratch marks where the badger desperately tried to claw its way to freedom.

A Department of Agriculture snare placed next to a badger sett exit. A badger emerging from the sett will get caught in the snare. (Photo: Peter Akokan).

One of the tens of thousands of badgers snared and killed by the Department of Agriculture.

This Department of Agriculture snare was placed on a path used regularly by badgers.

A Department of Agriculture badger snarer. The green bag in his right hand is used to put dead badgers into. Slung over his shoulder is a gun to shoot badgers which get caught in the snares. (Photo: Badger Watch Ireland).

Join our appeal to Minister Coughlan. Send one of our “Stop the Badger Snaring Slaughter” postcards today. To receive one or more copies, please get in touch with us now at info[at]


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