The illegal snaring of badgers not as uncommon as most would believe.

A Queen’s Balmoral gamekeeper fined over snared badger. A gamekeeper on the Queen’s Balmoral Estate has been fined after a dead badger was found in a snare on the property.

It would appear even on the most prestigious shooting estates in Britain trapping badgers is not all that uncommon. Although the account below occurred a number of years ago, because the Balmoral Estate on Royal Deeside was where a second badger was snared we thought the incident was well worth a second read. The complete story can be read here.

Raptor Politics came across the attached PDF report titled “A case for a ban on snares” first published in 2002 by the National Federation of Badger Groups also makes very interesting reading, as does  The following account titled ” An investigation how gamekeepers are devastating Britain’s Wildlife” which can be read here.

One of the most serious cases on record involved the intentional use of self-locking snares to kill badgers. In 1999, John Drummond a gamekeeper on the Holker Estate in Cumbria, was convicted of 20 offences of using a self-locking snare to take a wild animal, 20 offences of using a snare for the purpose of taking a badger (they were set at badger height on a badger path), 2 offences of killing a badger (both caught by snares, one self-locking drag snare still on the carcass) and 3 offences of cruel ill-treatment of a badger, one for each of the three last mentioned.

The evidence presented in court demonstrated that Drummond had killed at least 15 badgers in snares. One badger was found hanging over the edge of a bank, where it had asphyxiated after dragging a snare for 30 yards. Badger bones were scattered around the area. Snares had clearly been set for badgers and not checked regularly – badgers were simply left to die.

The evidence of cruelty ensured that Drummond went to prison for three months. This sentence was half the possible maximum which, for a man of no previous convictions, was quite robust sentencing and reflected the horrific and calculated nature of his crimes.

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