A couple living in Llwyndafydd have spoken about their shock and distress at finding a dead badger with a snare wrapped around its waist on their 21-acre smallholding.

They believe that the snared badger had broken free from where the snare was anchored, but died on their land from the wounds inflicted.

Neil and Clare Roberts spoke to leading national animal welfare charity League Against Cruel Sports about their upsetting experience.

“I was really upset about the suffering the badger must have experienced by being caught in a snare and struggling to break free," said Neil.

“I would 100 per cent support a ban on snares in Wales.”

Clare added: “Snares are indiscriminate, inflict pain as well as death, and should be banned.”

It follows news that a badger was returned to the wild after being saved from a snare elsewhere in Ceredigion - with the animal's rescue and release caught on video by the RSPCA.

Badgers are a protected species under the Protection of Badger Act 1992. Snares are thin wire nooses laid by farmers and gamekeepers to trap animals they want to kill.

According to figures released by Defra, in Wales there are up to 51,000 snares lying hidden in the countryside at any one time.

Many of its victims will suffocate or endure horrific injuries in their struggle to escape.

Bethan Collins, senior public affairs officer for Wales at the League Against Cruel Sports, said Wales has an opportunity to lead the way in the UK by introducing laws that "eliminate rather than regulate animal cruelty."

"We need a comprehensive ban on snares in Wales; one that prohibits their manufacture, possession, sale, and use," she said.

"This is the only way to truly tackle the suffering they cause.”

It is illegal to set a snare for a badger but the League has received a number of reports across Wales. 

A conservationist in South West Wales recently spoke out about the issue of snares, after a badger sadly died of its wounds after being snared – one of many brought into his animal rescue centre since opening in the 1990’s.

The League recently released polling carried out by YouGov in January 2021 which found 78 per cent of the Welsh public wanted snares to be made illegal.

Bethan Collins added: “The indiscriminate nature of snares and the suffering they cause to animals is horrendous.

“Our polling shows the public have enough of this cruel practice and we are hopeful the next Welsh Government will act to consign them to the history books.”

RSPCA reported that officers from the animal welfare charity were alerted another badger laying down and struggling to move in shrubs and hedgerow at an undisclosed location in the county last month.

Inspector Jemima Cooper arrived to find the badger entangled in a snare around his chest.

During the rescue on March 19 the officer faced a "difficult task" of safely securing the badger while freeing him from the vegetation; as the animal running off with the snare still attached could have had fatal consequences.

The badger was spotted struggling amid shrubs and hedgerow - before an RSPCA officer found that the wild animal had become trapped by a snare. 

RSPCA Cymru is opposed to the manufacture, sale and use of all snares and any traps which cause suffering - which they say are "indiscriminate" and "cruel".

While the use of snares is not currently illegal, it is illegal, under the Wildlife and Countryside Act, to set a snare for a badger and, under the Protection of Badgers Act 1992, it is an offence to injure, kill or take a badger, except under licence.

The badger was spotted struggling amid shrubs and hedgerow - before an RSPCA officer found that the wild animal had become trapped by a snare. Picture: RSPCA

The badger was first taken to a local vet where he was sedated and the snare was removed. His chest was extremely sore, bruised and swollen - but the snare had, thankfully, not cut through layers of his skin. He was put on a course of antibiotics, as well as pain relief and anti-inflammatory medication

As rehabilitation continued, the badger had to be sedated for a second time on March 26 as an antibiotics course continued, due to a wound which was not fully healed.