Badgers & the law
Badgers and their setts are protected by the Protection of Badgers Act 1992. This protection was granted not because they are endangered, but as a result of the historic persecution of badgers, particularly where badgers were dug out and then baited by dogs (badger baiting).
It is illegal to kill, injure, take or ill-treat a badger, or attempt to. It is also illegal to damage, destroy, block/obstruct a badger sett, cause a dog to enter a sett or disturb a badger in a sett.
A badger sett is defined as any structure or place which shows signs of current use by a badger.
There are provisions within the legislation that allow the issue of a licence which effectively makes an otherwise illegal activity lawful. Such licenses have to be fully justified and applied against stringent conditions.
Badger Action Network is fully conversant with the legislation and can help and advise where requested.
The relentless vilification of the badger by the Government, the Countryside Alliance and the National Farmers’ Union (NFU) in order to justify the badger cull has had another effect on this most iconic of British mammals. Badger persecution is on the rise, both in our countryside and in urban areas. In many cases, domestic dogs also suffer at the hands of the perpetrators.
Reports of badgers being shot, snared, poisoned and gassed are becoming more common. Damage to, and blocking of, setts are unfortunately a regular occurrence.
Things to look out for and report:
- Snares and other traps set near badger setts or on badger runs
- People with dogs, guns and powerful lamps out at night
- People with dogs and spades out in the daytime
- Coloured pellets or food at or near badger setts
- Setts blocked and/or spade marks at the entrance with compacted soil
- Mechanical excavators or farm vehicles near to badger setts
If you believe a crime is being committed, contact the Police by dialling 999. To report suspected non-urgent crime or evidence, contact the Police using the 101 number.