FOLLOWING an inquiry, ambulance chiefs have stood by paramedics who picked up a dying badger and took it to a vets.

South Central Ambulance Service said the crew’s “humane” decision did not divert them from emergency duties.

Spokesman James Keating-Wilkes said: “An ambulance crew returning from hospital to base encountered what they believed to be a dead badger in the road in Banbury and, believing that this posed a danger to other road users, stopped to move it to the side of the road.

“On approaching the animal the crew noticed that the badger was alive and in considerable distress.

“They contacted a local vet who asked them to bring the badger in to a veterinary practice approximately half-a-mile from the scene, which they did.

“At no point was patient safety compromised.

“Our internal investigation has now been completed and we are satisfied that the crew was acting in the best humane interests of the animal.”

Dr Peter Skolar, chairman of the Oxfordshire joint health overview and scrutiny committee, said: “As long as they didn’t put anyone else’s life at risk then I think they deserve a medal.”