POLICE are investigating after a badger sett was set on fire.

Officers say petrol was poured into the sett, which could have caused “extensive and unnecessary suffering”.

A red plastic container was left at the scene and the suspect may have suffered injuries.

It happened at St Boniface Down, on the Isle of Wight, on Monday (March 31).

Sgt Richard Stapleton who is investigating said: “We'd like to hear from you if you saw anyone acting suspiciously in the area over the past few days.

“Did you see anyone with a red plastic petrol container? One was left behind at the scene and we think the person responsible may have suffered some injuries in committing this crime.”

He added: “This is a particularly cruel and reckless action that could have caused extensive and unnecessary suffering. There is no evidence at this time to say any badgers were injured, but the person responsible clearly has no regard for wild animals.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact Sgt Stapleton by phoning 101. Mini-com users can phone 18001 101.

Call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.