A DECAPITATED badger was found at the roadside in Layer de la Haye after the North East Essex Badger Group’s hotline received a call.

A volunteer went to collect a body, but when they arrived, discovered it had not been hit by a car as first thought.

Judy Massie, Colchester section leader of the group, said: “This call-out was different.

“The badger was not the usual road accident. It had been decapitated and obviously dumped there to try and appear the victim of a collision.

“The young female’s head had been quite cleanly cut off at the base of the neck, while the rest of her body was intact.”

The organisation wants to raise awareness of the horrible act, which happened on April 24 near Friday Woods. Ms Massie said: “Wildlife crime appears to be on the increase generally, but it is an offence to persecute badgers in any form, including the disturbance of their setts.

“Public awareness is vital, and anyone finding finding a dead or injured badger in any circumstances is urged to phone the group’s hotline, on 07751 572175.”