Wrongly blamed for the spread of bovine tuberculosis … butchered on Britain’s roads … victims of the cruel practice of badger baiting … there’s no denying that times are hard for the British badger.
Bob, from Cornwall Badger Rescue has had a difficult winter out on the road rescuing badgers from all manner of bad situations. In the past we’ve brought you tales of happy badger cubs; rescued, weaned and released back into the wild…but the reality of life as an animal rescuer means you experience far more of the bad times than the good.
“I’ve seen all sorts this winter,” Bob explains, “I rescued two cubs last fortnight but they wouldn’t stop having fits and had to be put down. There’s another cub in the house and adult in the barn doing fine.” Bob’s daily battle is getting to the animals in time and hoping that they’re in a good enough condition for him to have a positive impact on them.
As if the threat of a cull wasn’t enough to concern animal lovers everywhere, Bob says he’s increasingly involved in assisting police with criminal cases involving badgers. There have been recent incidences of snares with fishing hooks being found in the countryside designed to capture live animals for badger baiting – in these events badgers often having their backs broken and are helpless as they are torn to pieces by dogs.
It’s not just criminals capturing badgers to torture them; Bob was recently called to a case where he found just the skin of the badger remaining… the rest had been taken away almost certainly for human consumption.
The other great danger for badgers is the construction industry. He routinely tangles with building contractors who have ploughed through badger setts causing disruption, death and injuries. When confronted, they simply claim they didn’t know badgers were living there.
Thankfully the police have been proactive in cracking down on crimes against badgers and seek the expert advice of people like Bob, while reminding the public to keep an eye out for setts and reporting violations. Bob has begun appearing on radio to comment on the plight of badgers in the West Country, highlighting the problems he faces.
The job of rescuing animals stretches far beyond the typical 9-5 day and can involve seeing some of the worst treatment of creatures imaginable. Network for Animals is proud to help fund Bob’s vital work in the countryside battling on the front line of badger rescue.