POLICE have launched an investigation into the death of a badger because they think it was illegally killed.

West Mercia Police said the carcass was found in woodland in Breinton, near Hereford, and was likely shot in the week before it was found.

Officers working in Hereford's safer neighbourhood team said the dead badger was reported to them on Monday (April 5), and they started to investigate.

It was found in woodland near St Michael's Church in the village, and their early enquiries show the badger was shot – which is illegal.

"It is an offence to wilfully kill or injure a badger under The Badgers Act 1992 and offenders face a fine and/or imprisonment of up to six months," officers said.

"If anyone can provide any information in relation to this incident then please contact 101, report online at westmercia.police.uk or anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111."