POLICE in Derbyshire have joined a national campaign aimed at protecting badgers from cruelty and prosecuting those involved.

Officers are sharing information with other forces on those known to and suspected of targeting badgers for baiting, where the animals are caught for fights with dogs on which bets are taken.

They are also sharing information on those involved in digging out badgers from their setts and lamping – where powerful lights are used to find and stun the badgers on open areas of land so that dogs can find and kill them.

Derbyshire Police said there have been ‘several incidents’ of badger cruelty in the county in recent months, with officers in Bolsover recently finding a badger sett dug and the animal killed.

In the High Peak and Derbyshire Dales residents have reported people going door-to-door asking where badger setts are.

Badgers are a protected species and offences breaching the Protection of Badgers Act can lead to imprisonment.

Sergeant Darren Belfield, wildlife crime officer, called on members of the public to report any badger baiting, digging or lamping. Anyone with information should call on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

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