WARNING: Video contains flickering images
Police are investigating after a hedgehog was killed by a rodent trap in Polegate.
A woman in Rye Close was shocked to find the seriously injured animal in her garden – with the trap still attached.
Horrified Rescuers arrived on the scene, and quickly removed the hedgehog from the trap but the animal had to be put down.
East Sussex Wildlife Rescue and Ambulance Service (WRAS) said the starving adult hedgehog, thought to be freshly out of hibernation, had been looking for a tasty meal. Unfortunately it triggered the violent trap that became attached to one of its front legs.
Rescuer Chris Riddington said, “The leg was fractured and there was extensive tissue damage. Where the pressure had been applied the tissue had swollen cutting off the blood supply resulting is further tissue damage.
“It was horrendous. It was clear the injury had not just happened and potentially the poor creature has been dragging the trap around for a couple of days or more.”
While WRAS founder Trevor Weeks said, “Clearly some members of the public cannot use these products as per the manufacturer’s instructions so it begs the question should they be banned from sale.
“I have said repeatedly, the use of traps and poisons are just short-term quick fixes that do not address the real reasons and problems at hand. “We are supposed to be the more intelligent species so we should be thinking more long term and address such problems with long term sustainable solutions and not with barbaric traps and poisons.”
Following the incident, a spokesperson for the British Hedgehog Preservation Society said, “Hedgehogs are a protected species through being listed on Schedule 6 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act.
“Explicitly they may not be trapped without a licence. This means that if a trap is set, albeit intended for something else, and it catches a hedgehog then the person who set the trap can be prosecuted.
“Anyone setting a trap is obliged to take all reasonable precautions to avoid catching non target species, it is almost impossible to ensure hedgehogs cannot be caught when using this trap (or any similar one) so whoever sets them is at risk of prosecution if a hedgehog is caught.
“It is no defence in law to say that the catch was unintentional.”
And PC Waters of Wealden Police said officers have knocked on doors of all the surrounding houses asking questions about the incident.
He is calling on anyone with information on who has placed the trap to get in contact with Sussex Police on 101 quoting reference 0918 or 5/4/18.