Six skinned ‘badgers’ turn out to be deer

The skinned bodies of six roe deer were discovered near Peebles
The skinned bodies of six roe deer were discovered near Peebles

Police Scotland have confirmed that the initial identification of animal carcasses found near Peebles on Friday as badgers was wrong.

On Tuesday it emerged that the ‘partial’ remains were in fact those of six roe deer. The animals had been skinned.

The disturbing discovery was made by a farmer on Bonnington Road last week, with Police Scotland initially stating it was six skinned badgers.

However, after the carcasses were examined by experts at the Scottish Agricultural College, their true identity was revealed this week.

A Police Scotland spokeswoman told The Southern: “The officers who responded were presented with animal remains which had no distinguishing features.

“As they were led to believe the remains were those of badgers, they forensically recovered them – carefully putting them in bags with minimal contact.

“Therefore, it was only when the experts examined the remains that it became apparent they were those of roe deer.”

Enquiries into the circumstances surrounding the creatures’ deaths are ongoing and anyone with information that may assist the investigation is asked to come forward immediately.

Chief Inspector Andrew Clark, the local area commander, said: “Police Scotland is committed to the full and thorough enquiry into instances of this nature. Being a rural policing area, we are aware of the significance of such finds and will continue to robustly investigate wildlife crime in the Borders”

DI Raymond Brown, who is leading the investigation, added: “An enquiry continues to ascertain the full circumstances surrounding the discovery and to confirm if any criminality is involved.”

SSPCA Chief Superintendent Mike Flynn said: “Deer poaching and deer coursing are national wildlife crime priorities.

“They are incredibly difficult crimes to detect, but we are always encouraging people to contact ourselves and the police with as much information as possible on any activity they have either witnessed or suspect.”