Consolidating several earlier acts and repealing some of the other relevant acts, The Protection of Badgers Act makes it a serious offence to injure, kill or take a badger, in addition to damaging or interfering with a sett unless done under the license issued by a statutory authority. Apart from badger baiters, the law also applies to property developers, gamekeepers, pest control companies, homeowners and farmers, who may intentionally or unintentionally kill badgers. In general terms, damaging or interfering with a badger sett can be persecuted by law. It is also an offence to have a dead badger. If you spot a dead badger, never try to dispose it by yourself. It is advisable to arrange for the local council or the local badger group to collect the carcass and dispose it appropriately. Protecting badgers and their setts, there are three main sections in the Protection of Badgers Act detailed as follows.
The offences include willfully killing, taking or injuring, or attempting to injure, kill or take a badger; digging for badgers, cruelly ill-treating a badger, employing tongs, firearm, or gadgets other than what is specified under the exceptions in the act; intentional or negligent interference, destruction, obstruction or damage caused to a sett or causing a dog to enter a sett; possessing or selling a dead or live badger; and marking or attaching identification devices to badgers.
Exceptions and Licenses
Possessing or taking a disabled badger for tending; mercy killing of a seriously injured or sickly badger; acts authorized by Animals Act 1986; accidentally killing a badger attempting a lawful action; Killing, taking or injuring badgers during any of the actions connected to preventing a serious damage to poultry, land, crops, or property; and blocking sett entrances for the purpose of hunting foxes with hounds set within section 8 of the Act.
Adhering to the conditions in the act, license may be obtained to perform any of the activities prohibited by the Act. Killing or taking badgers apart from interfering with their setts to prevent the spread of disease; interfering with the badger sett for agriculture, forestry or construction activities are permitted under license from Conservatory Council or the relevant Minister.
Enforcement and Penalties
Under reasonable grounds of suspecting an offense, a constable is empowered to search a person or his vehicle without any warrant, besides seizing the evidences. A person convicted of an offense under the terms of the Act is liable to a term of imprisonment not exceeding six months per offense, and or a fine not exceeding £5000. The badger, skin, or weapons used for the offense shall be forfeited from the person. The dog used in committing the offense may be destroyed, besides disqualifying the offender from having the custody of a dog and making him pay for destructing the dog.