GRAPHIC CONTENT WARNING: Hunt for cruel thugs who hanged badger opposite school

SICK thugs are being hunted for hanging a legally protected badger from a football crossbar opposite a school.

Horror as badger hanged from crossbar (Image: RSPCA)

This sickening scene greeted a school caretaker who hurriedly took down the dead animal before it was seen by children.

It is believed the badger was alive when it was strung up and left to suffer a horrific death, with blood dripping from the nose and mouth.

The RSPCA has launched an investigation into what the charity is describing as a “deliberate act of cruelty”.

An appalled member of the public raised the alarm after spotting the badger dangling from the eight-foot high crossbar with a long piece of cord pulled tight around the animal’s neck then fastened to a stanchion.

The caretaker at Becket Keys School in Sawyers Hall Lane, Brentford, took down the animal from the goal on the nearby sports field and alerted the RSPCA’s emergency line.

Blooded badger hanged alive (Image: RSPCA)

Today the charity appealed for information about the “violent incident” reported last Friday.

Trainee RSPCA Inspector Ann Bennett, who is investigating the cruelty case, said: “We’d like to get to the bottom of this sickening, deliberate act of cruelty to a wild animal.

“The incident is particularly disturbing as we suspect this badger was alive when it was strung up, as there was blood around its nose and mouth.”

The charity praised the witness and the caretaker for their quick actions.

“It must have been extremely distressing to the member of public who found the badger," added the inspector.

“Our thanks go to him and the shocked school caretaker who was able to take the lifeless badger down from the goalpost to prevent it being seen by children.

“It is horrible to think someone could be responsible for killing any animal in such a violent way. The location was quite a distance from the road and we are keen for members of the public who may have been in the vicinity of this sports field on Friday evening and saw anything suspicious to come forward.”

Scene of badger hanging that confronted shocked school caretaker (Image: RSPCA)

It is illegal under the Protection of Badgers Act to intentionally injure, kill or capture a badger, with offenders facing up to six months’ imprisonment.

The badger incident is the second animal hanging case to come through to the RSPCA this week. A ragdoll cat called Hugo had to be removed from a bridge over the M62 near Ferrybridge, West Yorkshire, at the weekend, after being hanged with a piece of blue twine.

Anyone with any information about either investigation should call the RSPCA appeals line on 0300 123 8018.