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23 February 2015, 16:47
Police in Poole want to speak to anyone with information following the the destruction of a badger set at the Bourne Valley Nature Reserve.
Officers think it was purposefully targeted with builders sand and tools after they discovered that the multiple sett entrances had all been blocked and the surrounding area flattened.
A local dog walker spotted the damage and reported it to police on Monday 9 February 2015.
Police Constable Claire Dinsdale, a Wildlife Crime Officer for Dorset Police, said: "Disturbing or damaging a badger sett is a criminal offence. Badgers have legal protection because of the sheer brutality of crimes against their species.
"This is a sickening act. Badgers normally give birth to their cubs at this time of year. Any family in the sett would have suffocated. The offenders have spent a great deal of time and effort to ensure all escape routes were blocked.
"I am appealing to the local community to report any information regarding this incident to me.
"I would also like to ask the many dog walkers, who use this area regularly, to keep their eyes and ears open and remain vigilant to acts like this. Any suspicious behaviour should be reported immediately."
No arrests have been made.