Officers hunt for badger baiters
23 April 2007 - BBC News
Police have launched an operation to snare wildlife criminals who target
badgers and poison eagles. Officers in Argyll have teamed up with wildlife
charity Scottish Badgers to track down those responsible.
Strathclyde Police said some people appeared to be deliberately blocking and
damaging setts on Seil Island. They said the damage had a serious impact on the
badger population as the setts provide cover and are also a food resource for
Joe Connelly, wildlife crime co-ordinator for Strathclyde Police, said: "The
initiative highlights the determination of the police, partner agencies and
members of the public to prevent and detect badger crime. In recent years,
officers have investigated a number of serious crimes to the badger population
on Seil Island. This time we are concerned at what seems to be a premeditated
attempt to rid the area of badgers. Badger baiting is illegal and I would like
to remind the public that there are severe fines and the possibility of
imprisonment for anyone who intentionally or recklessly disturbs or kills
Ian Hutchison, species protection officer from the wildlife charity Scottish
Badgers, said they were increasingly concerned about the situation on the
He added: "Our local members have highlighted the problem and they are
monitoring the ongoing situation in relation to the badgers on the island. It
appears that at least four social groups have been exterminated and we are at a
loss to understand why someone should wish to do this."
Wildlife criminals on Seil Island and the surrounding area are also suspected
of poisoning eagles.
Argyll is home to the White-Tailed Sea Eagle and the Golden Eagle and is
considered one of the best places in Scotland to see such birds.
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