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Badger Protection Plea in Scotland

8 December, 2003 - BBC News

The public has been urged to help the police and animal welfare officials in the fight against badger baiting.

Police in Lanarkshire have found evidence of badger setts being dug up by gangs involved in the blood sport.

The Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SSPCA) has also revealed evidence of attempts to dig for badgers in Glasgow.

They have called on members of the public to help stop the "extremely sick" practice.

South Lanarkshire wildlife crime officer, Constable Phil Briggs, found a disturbed sett in the Larkhall area and there has been concern about an increasing number of badger baiting incidents within the county.

He said six disturbed setts were found in the area in the last two months.

Lothian and Borders Police said a disturbed badger sett was also discovered in the Hawick area of the Borders.

Constable Briggs said the gangs send dogs into the setts to force the badgers out.

They are then taken to a badger-baiting "arena", where an audience gathers to watch the badger fight terriers.

Claws or teeth may be taken out to reduce the possibility of seriously hurting the dogs.

Anyone found badger baiting can receive a 5,000 fine or face imprisonment.

Doreen Graham of the SSPCA warned that baiters can be dangerous people and should not be approached.

However, she urged the public to take heed of calls for help.

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