Tragically, over 50,000 badgers are killed each year on roads throughout the United Kingdom and in the first instance any dead badger seen on the roads should be reported to The Badger Trust using www.badgertrust.org.uk
The Badger Trust now collates all the National Road Casualty Records and immediately shares those reports with local badger groups such as Shropshire Badger Group.
There are a number of reasons for us wanting to know about road casualties, firstly of course badger welfare, but it’s also an opportunity to source other useful information.
Unfortunately it’s often very obvious that a road casualty badger is dead but where there is any doubt it’s essential to approach with care and touch the animal with a walking stick or something similar.
If there are any signs of life, such as movement or breathing, it’s then important to contact Shropshire Badger Group so that a suitably trained member gets to the location as soon as possible if the badger is to survive. To get that help ring either 07813 208291 or 07779 207648, both of whom have details of the nearest person who can help as well as being able to offer initial advice. If neither are available contact our Answerphone - 01743 271999 and again the person who monitors that has details of the nearest trained members.
During the inevitable delay the person finding and/or reporting the casualty can help considerably by covering the animal with a blanket or something else that will exclude the light which seems to have a calming effect on the animal.
If the animal is dead with the details reported to The Badger Trust, it will be some time before a local member is directed to the location so it’s important that there are clear details of the location, ideally the road number along with a grid reference but if neither is possible, then a description of nearby traffic signs or buildings will help to either find the casualty, or the location, if it’s been removed by the time a member visits.
The member will check the animal for gunshot wounds in case it’s been killed elsewhere and dropped on the road to mimic a road casualty and will also check the immediate area for identifying signs such as badger paths or dung pits. If there’s any doubt about the cause of death, an x-ray can sometimes provide the answer.
The carcass will also be specifically examined during springtime to check whether it’s a lactating female and, if so, that will activate a check of records and possibly visits to nearby premises to find a sett and make arrangements to rescue any cubs that may need help within the next few days.
Eventually the incident will generate an update of our records and improve our knowledge of the badger situation across the County.