MEMBERS of the public have responded in horror after a badger was killed and burned in Bradford.

West Yorkshire Police has issued an appeal after the protected creature was killed at the start of this week near Wilsden.

A force spokesperson said officers were called at 8.53pm on Monday to reports a badger had been killed near a countryside road to the east of the village.

The badger was also burned.

It is illegal to wilfully kill, injure, cruelly ill-treat and take or attempt to take a badger under the Protection of Badgers Act 1992.

A spokesperson for West Yorkshire Police's Wildlife & Rural Crime Team said: "Over the weekend unknown suspects have killed and burned a badger in the BD15 area of Bradford."

The RSPCA were called to scene by a member of the public, but the body of the badger could not be found.

The caller believes it had been removed.

The Wildlife & Rural Crime Team shared the appeal on its Facebook page.

People responded in the comments with anger and horror.

Paula Hobson did not hold back with her reply.

She said: "I feel it's despicable that nothing happens even if these pond life are apprehended at all.

"If I were the judge, they'd get strong custodial sentences.

"Animal cruelty is how murderers usually start their reign of abuse.

"Some very sick and twisted people in society.

"We need a law passing to eradicate such obviously dangerous psychopaths.

"There's no room in society for such dregs of humanity."

The Norfolk Badgers Trust also commented in shock at the horrible attack.

It said: "We are lost for words. We just hope that poor badger was already dead."

Another commenter outlined the persecution of badgers needed to stop and described the species as "beautiful animals".

They said: "What the actual hell is wrong with people?

"It's about time this persecution of this species is stopped and wildlife crime needs to carry actual decent and serious repercussions to those who commit them.

"Badgers are beautiful animals."

Councillor Paul Sullivan (Bingley Rural, Con) said the act was "wrong" and horrified him.

He added: "Even if I did know the circumstances, it sounds horrifying.

"From my point of view, if there are any witnesses, come forward and help police.

"Whatever punishment available ought to be brought to court, but before that we need to have witnesses.

"Depending exactly where on the road it was, it's quite well away from houses, you more or less wouldn't be disturbed.

"I would like to hope we get some witnesses, car registrations, things like that, anything that can assist police to bring people to court and give them the full punishment.

"It's just very hard to justify it at all."

If you witnessed anything, or have any information that could help, you should contact police on 101, or using the contact options on the West Yorkshire Police website.

You should quote crime reference number: 13210194080.

Information can also be passed on anonymously to Crimestoppers on: 0800 555 111.