Threats and Dangers - Badgers and the Law
Threats and Dangers

The badger has no real enemies in the wild. The badger's size and willingness to stand its ground and out-face a potential attacker mean that most other creatures are content to leave well alone. The badger will defend itself ferociously and a mature boar will fight back if his sow or cubs are threatened, the threat almost always coming from a domestic dog or dogs. In addition, the building of railways and roads and the ensuing traffic, housing and industrial development on traditional badger territories are likely to upset a creature who really wants to be left alone in the area he and his ancestors may have occupied for centuries. Living in well defined social groups badgers have long established pathways between setts in the group, from sett to latrine and from sett to watering place and feeding areas. If a new road is built across one of these traditional trails badgers will still try to follow the old line and many are killed in this way by speeding traffic.
Report Wildlife Crime in Nottinghamshire


the illegal persecution of badgers or malicious damage to badger setts -
If offenders are present do NOT confront call Police immediately on 999

Badger digging/baiting evidence that is historic that you stumble upon just take a few photos and os or gps or description of location and email to
Badgers and the Law

Badgers are protected by the Protection of Badgers Act 1992 which consolidates previous legislation under one act. It is illegal:-
  • To mark or ring a badger
  • To sell, try to sell, or keep a live badger
  • To possess a dead badger, or part of, which has been acquired illegally
  • To kill, take or injure any badger. This includes the use of gas, poison or snares.
  • To cruelly ill-treat any badger.
  • To dig for badgers
  • To use badger tongues
  • To interfere with a badger sett, whether by intention or recklessness.
  • To obstruct a sett entrance
  • To cause a dog to enter a badger sett.
  • To disturb a badger whilst it is occupying a sett.
The above is a general summary only and the full Protection of Badgers Act 1992 can be found here:

An illegally filled in sett entrance
Malicious Crimes

Badger Baiting

Badger baiting is an extremely cruel activity. In modern times, badger baiting has come into popularity amongst blood sport fans. In badger baiting terriers are typically involved in the digging and are sent into badger setts with radio collars to locate the badgers. The signal from the radio collar is then tracked from above and the group will dig down into the sett to locate the badgers. Once captured the badger is forced to fight with large powerful dogs. Usually the badger is taken away to a place for this purpose and sometimes the badger is purposely maimed or injured before the fight. Once the badger has been overpowered by the dogs it is usually either killed by the dogs or beaten to death by the offenders. Badgers are not the only victims of badger baiting. The dogs used in the fighting are also innocent victims. They suffer horrific injuries and are often not taken to a vet for treatment.

Instead offenders either treat the dog themselves, abandon, or kill the dog if they are too badly injured and puts the owner at risk of prosecution for cruelty.

Shooting and Lamping

Unless under licence (ie. culling) the shooting of badgers is illegal. Lamping is a night-time activity that is often linked with the illegal shooting of badgers. Lamping involves the use of a high powered spotlight to transfix the animal and then either shoot or use dogs to kill them.


Snares have been used for centuries as a way of capturing wild animals; most often for the eventual killing. While snares are not illegal, the intentional snaring of a badger is illegal. An experienced setter of snares will set a snare at the correct height and size in an attempt to minimise the accidental snaring of badgers.
Negligent Crimes

Development - Sett Interferrence

Under the Town and County Planning Act, 1990, development is defined 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. When applying for planning permission, developers are expected to be aware of protected areas and species where the development proposes to take place.
For further information about surveys and licenses see
Badgers: protection and licences (England)
Badger Licences issued by Natural Resources Wales and the Welsh Government (Wales)

Farming and Forestry - Sett Interferrence

Operations within woodland and on farmland may come into conflict with badgers and their setts. If carried out near a badger sett, may risk an offence under the Protection of Badgers Act, 1992.
For guidelines and information on when a license will be required see
Badgers: protection and licences (England)
Badger Licences issued by Natural Resources Wales and the Welsh Government (Wales)