A WOMAN who rescues injured animals is furious after a badger was bludgeoned with a spade during a ‘lamping’ incident.

Jean Thorpe, who runs Ryedale Rehab, which specialises in caring for sick and injured wild animals, was called out to rescue a badger that had been attacked during a lamping incident in the early hours of Sunday morning.

She says there have been ‘‘dozens and dozens’’ of similar incidents in the past year.

Lamping is illegal and involves people driving 4x4 vehicles out into the countryside, shining a bright light from the top of the car and waiting until a wild animal is caught in the light.

Dogs are then sent down the beam of light to attack the stunned animal.

She said: “A passing motorist told the RSPCA that they had found an injured badger alive in the middle of a country road at 9am on a Sunday and I was sent to investigate.

“The female badger was bleeding heavily and she was obviously seriously injured.

“I took her to Battle Flatts vets where she was immediately put to sleep.”

The vets then inspected the badger and found that she was a healthy adult with a pristine coat, aged between two and five.

The badger’s face was injured where a spade had been brought down hard on her and her eyeball had been knocked out.

She had various dog bites to her muzzle, neck, chin and front leg.

Mrs Thorpe said that there where 4x4 wheel marks and blood on the road between Norton and Stamford Bridge, where she found the badger.

She said: “It is very unusual to find animals alive after incidents like this, but the badger was sat on the road in a state of shock.

“It couldn’t see anything, but it could hear the cars driving by it. It is absolutely awful, and very upsetting.

“I can’t imagine why anyone would do this. The farmers around here are absolutely sick of it.

“The lampers are very difficult to catch but I think we need to set up a much better farm watch scheme, where we ring around all the farms as soon as we see anything suspicious.”

Inspector Tim Hutchinson said: “It’s very distressing when cruelty to animals takes place. We have been mounting anti-poaching patrols over the past few weeks to try and cut down on incidents of this nature.

“We would ask anyone with any information about how this badger was injured to contact us at Malton Police Station on 0845 6060247.”