Campaign to tackle badger cruelty
31 August 2004 - BBC News
protection groups and police officers are teaming up to crack down
on cruelty to badgers.
The initiative involves the Scottish Society for Prevention of
Cruelty to Animals (SSPCA) and the Partnership for Action Against
Wildlife Crime (PAW).
A confidential telephone line will offer up to £1,000 for
information leading to a person being charged with criminal offences
Beer mats advertising the phone number will be used to promote
All of Scotland's police forces are involved with the campaign
along with the Scottish Executive and the Scottish Badgers
A similar scheme launched a few years ago in England and Wales,
by the RSPCA, has already led to convictions.
there have been no convictions for badger baiting, although other
offences such as disturbance have been reported.
Crimes against badgers vary from baiting to disturbance.
In baiting or digging, the badgers are deliberately dug from
their sets to be attacked by dogs such as terriers, lurchers and
bull terriers. Badgers are also trapped or dug from their sets to be taken to a
pre-designated area where a pit has been dug.
There the badger will fight against dogs, while money is bet on
the outcome and the length of time it will be before the badger is
Badgers can seriously injure or kill the dogs that are set upon
Often their claws or teeth are pulled out with pliers, their jaws
broken or the tendons on their legs cut to make them weaker.
Other crimes include disturbance by developers, foresters, green
keepers and cattle farmers.
However, the main aim of the campaign is to target baiting - a
crime which has been taken underground and is well organised.
Superintendent Mike Flynn, of the SSPCA, said: "This is possibly
one of the cruellest and most violent acts carried out against
animals in Britain today. The stress and suffering endured by both the badgers and the
dogs involved can last for several hours before inevitable death. The people carrying out these acts cannot be trusted. They are
barbaric and we are appealing to anyone who is aware of such cruelty
to call the reward line and bring an end to this horrific activity."
Constable Phil Briggs, wildlife crime officer for Strathclyde
Police, said those involved in badger baiting have no place in
He said: "This is a barbaric past-time which belongs in the dark
ages. The criminals involved in this have no regard for either the
welfare of the badgers or the dogs they use.
The police will continue to work closely with the SSPCA and
Scottish badgers to bring these despicable violent criminals to
justice. As with other wildlife criminals, these people are often
involved in other forms of criminal activities such as drug dealing
and house breaking."
Hotline number: 0870 240 4832
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