Wildlife

crime

Protection of Badgers Act 1992

Badgers have an unenviable record of persecution in this country. Recognising this, Parliament passed the Protection of Badgers Act 1992, making them our most protected mammal.

 

Essentially, the Act makes it an offence to:

  • wilfully kill, injure or take a badger;

  • cruelly ill-treat a badger, for example by digging for them;

  • interfere with a badger sett by damaging, destroying, obstructing, causing a dog to enter or disturbing an occupied sett - either by intent or by negligence and;

  • sell, offer for sale or have possession of a live badger.

The penalties for infringing the Protection of Badgers Act include substantial fines and prison terms. 

Broadly speaking, constructors and farmers may apply to Natural England for a license to address setts they find problematic.

 

In Berkshire, it is probably fair to say that criminal acts relate more to illegal actions by developers and negligence from people in the countryside.  Nonetheless, other wildlife crimes can occur, including:

  • sett stopping by fox hunts

  • badger digging and baiting

  • poisoning (including the mis-use of pesticide)

  • sett interference (deliberately or accidentally)

  • snares set on badger runs

What you can do if you see evidence of industrial and domestic offences:

  • consider contacting the homeowner or building site manager if it is safe to do so, to request that work be halted while the situation is reviewed. If work continues, consider contacting the police or RSPCA. Please ensure that you get a Crime Reference Number. In either case, please contact us immediately;

  • if you are concerned that local forestry or farming work is harmful to badgers, please contact us with details;

  • make friends aware of the law, for example if they are considering an extension to their house that may impact a badger sett.

 

​What you can do if you see violent crime:

 

  • if you see digging at a sett, leave the area at once and contact the police or RSPCA immediately with as much detail as possible. Please ensure that you get a Crime Reference Number;

  • do not engage with the perpetrators yourself. They are likely to be very violent people and may be armed, and accompanied by aggressive fighting dogs;

  • if you learn later of such a crime, report it to the police or RSPCA with as much detail as possible. Please ensure that you get a Crime Reference Number.

Stay away!

In any event, if you see evidence of crimes against badgers, please tell the police and let us know.

 

What we do:

 

  • we report crimes to the police, RSPCA and Badger Trust;

  • we challenge developers and property owners on inappropriate actions and seek to educate them on badgers and the law;

  • we liaise with Councils and others to ensure that construction and farming work is carried out legally.

Our county's badgers are counting on YOU!

Binfield Badger Group is affiliated to the Badger Trust.

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