Cookies on our website

The Natural Resources Wales website uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. For more details about cookies and how to manage them, see our cookie policy.

Badger Licences issued by Natural Resources Wales and the Welsh Government

The Protection of Badgers Act 1992 makes it illegal to kill, injure or take a badger, or interfere with a sett. Natural Resources Wales (NRW) and Welsh Government (WG) issue licences for appropriate purposes, so you can work legally

The Protection of Badgers Act 1992 fully protects badgers and their setts. Offences include:

  • killing, injuring and taking (or attempting these)
  • possession of a dead badger (or derivative)
  • cruelly ill-treating a badger
  • damaging a badger sett or any part of it
  • destroying a badger sett
  • obstructing access to / entrance of a badger sett
  • causing a dog to enter a badger sett
  • disturbing a badger whilst occupying a sett

You can obtain a licence for appropriate works, to avoid committing offences.

Licences

NRW is a licensing authority under the 1992 Act. We are responsible for issuing licences for the following purposes:

  • For scientific or educational purposes or for the conservation of badgers, to kill or take badgers or interfere with a sett
  • For the purpose of any zoological gardens or collection, to take, possess or sell badgers
  • For the purpose of ringing and marking, to take or mark badgers or attach a marking device
  • For the purpose of any developments as defined in section 55(1) of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990*, to interfere with a sett
  • For the purpose of preservation, or archaeological investigation, of a monument scheduled under section 1 of the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Area Act 1970, to interfere with a sett
  • For the purpose of investigating whether an offence has been committed or gathering evidence in connection with any proceedings before any Court, to interfere with a sett; and
  • For controlling foxes in order to protect released game or wildlife

In addition to these, WG has authority under Section 10(2) and (3) of the Act to issue licences to:

  • Interfere with badger setts for:
    • The purpose of any agricultural or forestry operation
    • The purpose of any operation to maintain or improve any existing watercourse or drainage works, or to construct new works required for the drainage of land, including works of defence against seawater or tidal water; and
    • Controlling foxes in order to protect livestock and penned game
  • Kill or take badgers or to interfere with their setts for:
    • The purpose of preventing the spread of disease; and
    • The purpose of preventing serious damage to land, crops, poultry orany other form of property

What is meant by development?

Section 55 (1) of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (“the 1990 Act”) defines ‘development’ as: “...the carrying out of building, engineering, mining or other operations in, on, over or under land, or the making of any material change in the use of any buildings or other land.”

Works that do not constitute development under the Town and Country Planning Act

Under the 1990 Act, various operations are excluded from the definition of development. These include the following:

  • The carrying out on land within the boundaries of a road by a highway authority of any works required for the maintenance or improvement of the road but... not including any works which may have significant adverse effects on the environment
  • The carrying out by a local authority or statutory undertakers of any works for the purpose of inspecting, repairing or renewing any sewers, mains, pipes, cables or other apparatus, including the breaking open of any street or other land for that purpose
  • The demolition of any description of building specified in a direction given by the Welsh Ministers to local planning authorities generally or to a particular local planning authority

Please note that this list is not exhaustive. If works are being carried out because badgers have contributed to damage, WG may be in a position to license those works. WG Wildlife Advisers may also visit and provide on-site advice. Should you require further information then please contact NRW or WG who will be able to advise whether a licence should be obtained.

WG Wildlife Advisers can be contacted by telephoning 03000 615 920 or email wildlife@gov.wales.

Natural Resources Wales can be contacted by telephoning 0300 065 3000 or by email to specieslicence@naturalresourceswales.gov.uk

Is there anything wrong with this page? Give us your feedback.