Badgers and the Law
About Wildlife Consultants
Laws protect badgers from being
harmed and their homes damaged. Whilst permits can be issued to allow such badgers to be moved, you
need to have professional
research done to see where the badgers are and what they need. In
commercial property development, finance and logistics can be very
important. Also, if an insurance company is paying for
re-building work, they may want to be certain
that the commercial risks are understood too. Wildlife Consultants are
usually highly experienced at dealing with such legal and commercial
issues and should be able to help mitigate the risks. Wildlife consultants help deal with protected species,
making sure that developers understand the law AND the needs of any
animals. Local Badger Groups
may also conduct badger surveys, and we run our own email-based
Ask An Expert service.
Legislation to Protect Badgers
Badgers are protected by a number of laws. Badgers may not be
deliberately killed, persecuted or trapped except under licence from the
relavent government department or agency. It is not possible to kill a
badger and then apply for a licence afterwards.
Badger baiting (using dogs to fight a badger) has been outlawed since
1835, and digging for them was made illegal by the Badgers Act 1973.
If you see someone you think may be digging for badgers, do not
approach them but write down their car registration numbers and
immediately call the police or the RSPCA.
The "Useful Information to Note" image shows the most useful
information for the police. Most people should be able to record this
information on their mobile phone, using video, photographs, voice notes
or text messages.
If the digging is not taking place at the moment, use the
non-emergency number (101). If badger digging or other persecution is in
progress, use the emergency number 999. Use the 999 number is you think
they you are at personal risk or if you are concerned that a breach of
the peace (or violence) may be imminent.
Remember that people who dig for badgers are criminals. They may be
in a group, and may be armed with spades, pick axes, and so on;
and they won't be afraid to use violence. They may also have mobile
phones, night-site equipment and so on, and they may see you before you
For the sake of your own safety it is better to phone the police or
the RSPCA than try to tackle these thugs on your own.
Badger Baiting, Lamping and Animal Cruelty
More and more people are being prosecuted successfully for badger
baiting and animal cruelty. In part this is because the law is slowly
taking effect, but also because there is a greater concerted effort by
expert witnesses and the Police Wildlife Liaison Officers to win cases.
Importantly too, once some-one has been prosecuted for badger baiting
and sent to jail, things don't always end there. As badger baiters tend
to be involved in other crimes (such as violence, counterfeiting, money
laundering, gambling and drugs), those people may well be kept under
special watch by the police from the moment they are released. Also too,
some of the more militant animal rights and animal liberation people
publish the names, addresses of family homes, telephone numbers and
work-places of badger baiters on the internet for every-one to see.
Increasingly, people are being convicted of badger baiting; and their
names are being published more widely. I don't suppose it's something
that's going to impress a future employer, to know that you've been
convicted of a violent crime. It's also something that might well have a
very poor effect on family life. Some-one convicted of violent crime may
well have their wives and children placed on the "at-risk"
register; which, of course, means that the Police and Social Services will be
keeping an extra close watch on what they are doing.
Many of the less "traditional" animal welfare groups, are
also beginning to publish the names and address of convicted badger
baiters on the internet. Badgerland do not condone this action, although
as actual or potential badger baiters you ought to be aware that it
happens. For example, see:
Accordingly, we would strongly urge you to use all the intelligence
you have to avoid badger baiting.
We would also urge people with knowledge of people who may go badger
baiting to protect their family by
pressuring baiters to see the error of
their ways, before they commit any more serious or violent crimes.
Remember too that many of those who are involved in animal crime;
also have links to other organised crime. If your partner is suspected
of being a badger baiter; your family home may also be raided if the
police are investigating related crimes, like dealing in stolen
property, money laundering and drugs offences. You might also like to
question whether a person who inflicts a violent death on a small
innocent creature; is really the sort of stable influence under whose
control your want to raise your children.