Sadistic gangs are hunting down badgers in Wirral and torturing them before setting their dogs on them.
Badger-baiting and fox killing has been going on in the borough’s rural community for years.
Five men on the Wirral Way were reported to police a matter of weeks ago, but were never caught.
Merseyside Police wildlife crime officer, DC Steve Harris, who works with DEFRA, RSPB and local conservation groups to tackle the problem, said: “There is a proven correlation between people who are cruel to animals and those who are cruel to humans.
“There is often a link between these people and domestic violence or child abuse.
“I asked a man why he hunted badgers and he replied ‘because I love it’. It sickens me.”
Badgers are shy animals who live in social groups within a tunnel system called a sett.
In the past farmers were worried about badgers having TB, but the disease in badgers has not been a problem in Wirral for 30 years.
DC Harris said: “Badgers sleep in the day and to get them out of their tunnels the men send a dog down wearing a transmitting collar.
“The lads then use scanners over ground to monitor the dog’s movements.
“When the dog stops, it means it has trapped the animal. They then start digging – this is called crowning down.
“The badger is cornered between an open hole and a dog biting at its tail.
“The men will then either set four or five dogs on the badger or take it home and put it in an arena and set the dogs on the animal there.
“The badger is often stabbed, has its jaw or legs broken, or is hit over the head with a spade or an iron bar so it can’t fight back and hurt the dogs.
“In the night the lads will use high-powered lamps to locate the badgers when they are foraging for food.
“This cruelty is often recorded and is carried out for pure sadistic pleasure.”
DC Harris says anyone who sees men wearing camouflage gear, with dogs and spades in the day or men with dogs, nets and high powered lamps in the evening, should report them immediately to the police.
Published: Wirral News