Badger damage- What can be done?
Badgers and their setts are protected under the Protection of Badgers Act 1992, which makes it illegal to kill, injure or take badgers or to interfere with a badger sett.
Interference with a sett includes blocking tunnels or damaging the sett in any way.
There is, however, provision within the legislation to allow action to be taken under a licence from the DEFRA if the problem cannot be resolved by alternative means.
The Wildlife Administration Unit administers licence applications for the following purposes:
- The purpose of preventing serious damage to land, crops, poultry or any other form of property, to kill or take badgers, or to interfere with a badger sett;
- The purpose of any agricultural or forestry operation, to interfere with a badger sett;
- The purpose of any operation (whether by virtue of the Land Drainage Act 1991 or otherwise) to maintain or improve any existing watercourse or drainage works, or to
construct new works required for the drainage of any land, including works for the purpose of defence against sea water or tidal water, to interfere with a badger sett.
If the purpose of proposed action is to prevent the spread of disease, contact should be made with your local DEFRA Animal Health Office. It should be noted that licences to kill or take badgers are only issued in exceptional circumstances. It is considered by DEFRA that the majority of problems posed by badgers can be resolved non-lethally, normally by the partial or
complete closure of the sett of the badger(s) causing the problem.
Recommended remedies to reduce the problem:
- Remove the food source - the badger is after invertebrates, chafer grubs etc., in the soil.
- Heavy duty fencing - provides a solid barrier onto the property.
- Electric fencing - conditions the badger to avoid the site.
For further information on how to deal with badger damage, and how to apply for a licence, can be found on www.defra.gov.uk