Badgers are protected by their own legislation. The Protection of Badgers Act 1992 makes it illegal to kill, injure or take a badger, or interfere with a sett.
Badgers are instantly recognisable and yet rarely seen, being shy and nocturnal. They are the heaviest of our wild predators, the adult males weighing over 11kg, and yet they eat mostly earthworms, insects, roots and berries. They are highly social, living in networks of underground tunnels called setts.
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
In addition, they are listed on Schedule 6 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, which prohibits certain methods of killing and capture.
You can obtain a licence for appropriate works, to avoid committing offences. See ‘Badger licences issued by Natural Resources Wales and the Welsh Government’ for further information.