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Fine for interfering with a badger sett

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NFBG - 26th September 2000

The NFBG this week welcomed the firm stance taken by the court in a case of illegal blocking of a badger sett.

On the 19 September 2000, at Southend Magistrates Court, Brian Anthony Holder was found guilty of interfering with a badger sett in his garden, in Hockley, Essex, by obstructing sett entrances.

In sentencing Holder to a £500 fine plus £250 costs, the Magistrates made it clear that the illegal blocking of badger setts is unnecessary and is not to be tolerated. The Magistrates also expressed their disapproval of the defendant's lack of cooperation with the police – he refused to allow the police to examine the sett and refused to be interviewed by the police.

Dr Elaine King, Conservation Officer for the NFBG said, “This result sends out the clear message that the courts will not tolerate unnecessary interference with badger setts.”

Interfering with badger setts can cause suffering and even death for the occupants. The timely intervention by the Ministry of Agriculture's Farming and Rural Conservation Agency, ably supported by the police, apparently ensured that this did not happen in this case....

Licences to prevent serious damage to property (including land, crops and poultry) are issued by MAFF in England, NAWAD in Wales and SERAD in Scotland. Damage licences can allow the interference with, and/or closure of setts. In some cases, licences are issued to allow the killing of badgers, although this is generally a last resort and only a handful of such licences are issued each year....

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