Badger baiting hotspot crackdown
1 November 2007 - BBC News
A crackdown on a hotspot for badger baiting is underway in the Cynon Valley
by police and environmentalists. Rewards are being offered to people who report
suspicious behaviour which leads to a successful prosecution, amid targeting of
badger setts in the area. The plea follows an increase in the number of
incidents reported to wildlife police from the area. Flyers have been delivered
to homes in towns and villages in the valley highlighting the problem.
South Wales Police forest crime officer Pc Andrew Scourfield said: "Many
offences of wildlife crime go unreported. Although in recent weeks, there has
been an increase in the number of incidents reported to me, and most occurred in
the Cynon Valley," he said.
His colleague Sgt Ian Guildford added: "The so-called pastime of badger
baiting or digging is an immensely cruel and barbaric activity. Immense cruelty
is inflicted on the badger with the dogs involved also suffering serious
injuries. We know that those people involved in this activity are willing to
travel in pursuit of badgers and recent convictions and intelligence indicate
that areas in both west Wales and the English border counties are popular
destinations for these people. South Wales Police are committed to prevent and
detect this illegal activity and we can succeed in this with the help and
information that we receive from members of the public."
Badgers are a protected species, but have been illegally targeted by baiters
for more than 150 years. Dogs are usually sent into the sett where they hold the
badger at bay while the baiters dig the creatures out. The dog and the badger
will then fight and after the fight, the badger is usually clubbed to death.
Cynon Valley MP Ann Clwyd, who is supporting the Naturewatch campaign, said:
"I am ashamed to discover that some people from the Cynon Valley are actively
involved in badger baiting. It is a cruel practice and I am determined to stamp
it out. It is wholly unacceptable that a barbaric practice which has been
against the law since 1835 continues today."
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