The Neath Port Talbot Badger Group

Protecting Our Local Badgers

BADGERS AND THE LAW

Two recent acts of Parliament have strengthened laws of badger protection, supplementing previous protection legislation, and now includes protection of the setts themselves.

The legislation before 1991 consisted of the Badger Act (1973) which was amended by schedule 7 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and the following Wildlife and Countryside (amendment) Act 1985.

All previous acts are now consolidated as the Protection of Badgers Act (1992).

In summary, these acts make it an offence for anyone (including developers) to:

- wilfully kill, injure or take a badger or attempt to do so
- cruelly ill-treat a badger
- possess a dead badger or anything derived from a dead badger
- to offer for sale or have in possession a live badger
- to damage or destroy a sett or part of a sett
- to obstruct access to a sett
- to disturb a badger occupying a sett
- to cause a dog to enter a sett

For more information visit:   Legislation.gov.uk
 

All sett disturbance/destruction and possession of badgers requires a licence to be obtained, except for a basic sett survey to check its occupancy and emergency work, eg. rescue of injured badgers.

A constable may, and without warrant, stop and search any person he/she reasonably believes to be committing an offence under the Act, and any vehicle or article which that person may have with him/her. Also, to seize any badger or weapon or article used in the offence.

A custodial sentence of up to six months can be imposed and the current penalties include a maximum fine of 5,000 pounds (sterling) per badger sett involved.

The courts have powers to dispose of dogs used in offences and to ban offenders from keeping dogs for any period thought reasonable.

It is worth noting also that currently there are no herbicides, pesticides, animal repellents and other such agents (including creosote and petrol etc) that are considered safe for badgers, and their use is also prohibited on or near to a badger sett. The use of such agents would contravene The Protection of Badgers Act. If you have a badger problem, eg. digging up the garden, then please contact your nearest badger group or wildlife authority for expert advice.