Police make arrests in badger baiting raids

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TWO men have been arrested following a series of police raids in Lancashire and Manchester linked to badger baiting.

Properties in Broadway, Haslingden; Upper Ash Mount, Rawtenstall, and Lynton Road, Tyldesley, were raided by officers from Lancashire Constabulary on Friday, following reports from the Helmshore area that a number of men had been digging badgers and throwing them to dogs. A badger with a shotgun wound to the head was later found at the site.

A number of items were seized during the raids, including computers, mobile phones, shotgun cartridges, vehicle registration plates, a suspected stolen horse box and £10,000 in cash.

A 54-year-old man from Tyldesley and a 53-year-old man from Haslingden have been arrested on suspicion of interfering with a badger sett and have been released on bail pending further inquiries.

Lancashire Constabulary’s wildlife crime officer Mark Thomas said: “Badger baiting is a particularly cruel activity and it is clear that on this occasion at least one badger suffered a violent and traumatic death.

“As with many other wildlife offences, the cruelty to the badgers only scratches the surface in terms of the criminality being committed. Those who have little concern for injuring an animal are often involved in other activities like theft and vehicle offences.

“We will continue to target those who we believe are involved in badger baiting and the associated crime that comes with it.”

Anyone with information about crime should contact police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. In an emergency always dial 999.