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Jail's sett-to with badger family

25 October 2005 - BBC News

Action is being taken to remove the animals from the premises Jail bosses more used to preventing break-outs have had to take special action to evict a pair of unwelcome visitors who broke in to their prison. Two badgers caused havoc when they tunnelled under a perimeter fence at Erlestoke Prison near Devizes.

The authorities were initially powerless to remove the animals because badger setts are protected by law.

Prison chiefs had to call in the Department for Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) to get rid of them.

Governor Douglas Moon said: "I can confirm that during the early part of this year, a pair of badgers were found to have set up home within the grounds of this establishment.

"The prison sought advice from Defra on the appropriate management and safe removal and we have been able to obtain authorisation to remove the badgers to a safe location away from the establishment.

"We have also been granted a licence to carry out the necessary work and arrangements for the safe relocation of the badgers is now in progress."

Erlestoke is a category C closed training prison, which receives male prisoners from England and Wales.

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