Crime and persecution

16.6.2021. NEWS

SETT FLATTENED ON A NOTORIOUS ESTATE NEAR SNOWSHILL. HUNT REGULARLY HERE AND BADGERS OFTEN PERSECUTED. THIS IN AN AREA THAT HAS HAD YEARS OF CULLING AND IS CURRENTLY SUPPLEMENTARY. THE CULL HAS OPENED THE FLOODGATES FOR ANY SORT OF PERSECUTION OF BADGERS. THEIR PROTECTED STATUS IS ALL BUT MEANINGLESS.

Call upon your local Police and Crime Commissioner to make enforcing wildlife laws a priority.

The Badger Trust’s recently released video – Stopping Badger Crime – aims to raise public awareness of crimes against badgers and encourage reporting. Presented by naturalist and broadcaster Mike Dilger, the hard-hitting film reveals the different methods used to persecute badgers, how to recognise the signs, and shows how recording and reporting badger crime helps investigators bring offenders to justice.

Warning: Contains distressing material

Badger persecution – things to look out for

  • Has someone’s dog been injured in a badger fight?
  • Who is training their dog to attack badgers?
  • Are people digging on or near a badger sett or seen carrying spades?
  • Are people acting suspiciously near a badger sett with dogs?
  • Has a badger sett been blocked up? (Most likely when a fox hunt has been in the area).
  • Are there snares near a badger sett or on badger runs?
  • Is there any development or tree felling taking place near a badger sett? They may not have a licence to do so.
  • Is someone shooting badgers?

(From Crimestoppers | National Wildlife Crime Unit | NWCU)

See the League Against Cruel Sport’s guide to the various forms of crimes against badgers and other wildlife.

Five signs that a wildlife crime is happening near you | League Against Cruel Sports

How to report

If a crime is ongoing (such as blocking or baiting) then call 999.

If you think an incident has occurred e.g. a sett has been blocked then call 101. In the case of sett blocking, please ensure the badgers are safe with an entrance unblocked or at least an air hole made (after filming for evidence).

You can anonymously report wildlife crime to the CrimeStoppers’ hotline: 0800 555 111

Please record the incident number and complete the form on the Badger Trust website.

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Badger baiting

When midnight comes a host of dogs and men
Go out and track the badger to his den,
And put a sack within the hole, and lie
Till the old grunting badger passes by…

..Then they loose them all and set them on.
He falls as dead and kicked by boys and men,

Then starts and grins and drives the crowd again;
Till kicked and torn and beaten out he lies
And leaves his hold and cackles, groans, and dies…

Lines from The Badger by John Clare


Hunt blocking of a sett

A sett devastated by logging at Westonbirt Arboretum in January 2019. Disturbance to a sett is illegal and the FC’s own guidelines state that a 20m exclusion zone should be in place and work avoided in the breeding season – particularly January and February. This year, there has been a major ash tree removal project across large swathes of Silk Wood – in February.

There’s no closed season when it comes to wildlife crime. A blocked sett found amongst the Spring flowers.