Conservation enthusiasts urge Greater Manchester police and elected mayor Andy Burnham to do more for animals.
Wildlife enthusiasts are urging authorities to do more for Greater Manchester’s badgers, a year after one of their volunteers was attacked in a horrific attack in Bolton.
The group claims that attacks on badgers and settlements are still « widespread » in the North West and require a serious response from police forces.
The call came on the first anniversary of an incident in which a volunteer was brutally shoveled and wounded in the head by a gang on the road.
What does the badger group tell the animals and what does it want to see?
The Badger group says crimes against animals are « widespread » and that the North West as a whole is a « hotspot » for illegal activities involving wildlife.
The Lancashire Badger Group, which covers the northern counties of Greater Manchester, told police it had reported several incidents in the past month involving animals excavating settlements.
South Manchester Badger Group, meanwhile, was called in last month for a poisoning by dogs and three puppies killed.
Environmentalists say crimes against badgers have increased nationally since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Animals face threats such as interference with settlements, badger bait, shooting, trapping, poisoning, poaching and lamp burning with dogs, as well as damage to their habitats due to land development.
It now calls for reform in how wildlife crime is handled and wants to see a much stronger response from the Greater Manchester Police (GMP), including having specially trained special officers deployed across all city-region areas to deal with the problem.
The group is also lobbying Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham to see if he can raise the issue.
They find it can be frustrating to deal with GMP and have them come out and investigate wildlife crimes.
Andy Hardman, vice president of Lancashire Badger Group, said: “We found that with GMP it could be very successful and missed. Sometimes you can’t reach the switchboard and sometimes we have to explain to them what the badger crime is.
“They can take steps to have officers meet us in the field or deal with live events that are occurring.
“We can also offer specific training for staff on what to look out for on sites and what the environments look like and are.”
One year after a volunteer with shock injuries
The group is calling for badger crime to be made a higher priority one year after a 41-year-old volunteer suffered shocking injuries while trying to help protect badgers.
While excavating a settlement in Bolton, he was brutally attacked by a gang of five using the gaps.
He was hospitalized with injuries that required plastic surgery and still suffers from pain and neurological issues.
The group says the case has since been dropped by GMP.
Andy said this incident should serve as a warning of how serious wildlife crimes are and how dangerous some of the criminals involved can be.
“The Bolton incident was terrible. It was just luck that he didn’t suffer the injuries that would change his life.
“Killing badgers – baiting, lighting lamps, fighting – is part of a regional network of criminal activity. There is evidence that the gangs that organize wildlife crimes also organize other crimes.
“If you see people interfering with a settlement, don’t approach them. Don’t put yourself in danger. »
What else has been said about the badger crime?
Anyone who realizes a wildlife crime has been committed is asked to call 999 and provide as much information as possible, including the exact location and description of the offenders as much as possible.
Badger groups also encourage anyone who sees anything suspicious about the animals to get in touch.