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New homes for badgers

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8th August 2003 - BBC News

Artificial setts have been built to re-house a group of badgers which were under threat of being culled.

About 10 months ago the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) issued a licence to kill up to 16 badgers in Saltdean, East Sussex.

But the animals were granted a reprieve after protestors staged vigils outside the houses where the badger setts were.

Work is due to start later this month to relocate the animals to two artificial setts.

DEFRA officials said on Friday the setts had been established in the gardens of volunteers in Saltdean, close to the existing problem site.

The badgers will be encouraged to use their new homes by feeding them there.

The gardens with the problem sett will then be surrounded by a permanent badger-proof fence and any badgers still inside will be trapped and moved.

A DEFRA spokesman said the animals would be examined by a vet before they were released into their new setts, which will be monitored by video cameras.

Animal health minister Ben Bradshaw said: "It is to the credit of all those involved, including the householders, that we are able to take this forward."

The old sett will be filled in and the garden made unattractive to badgers by removing undergrowth.

Problems with the creatures first started in the 1980s after it was claimed they were causing damage in the area.

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