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Inquiry as badger sett disturbed

31 January2008 - BBC News

Police have warned there are serious penalties for disturbing a badger sett after an incident in Nottinghamshire. They were called to a field near Southwell and found two dogs with serious injuries from fighting badgers. The terriers were fitted with tracking devices which allow them to be followed when underground. Two men dressed in camouflage fled the scene.

Police said anyone disturbing a badger or sett could face a 5,000 fine and a six-month prison sentence. Cruelty to dogs carries a penalty of a year in prison and/or a fine of up to 20,000.

The RSPCA took the dogs into its care. RSPCA Inspector for Newark, Ian Callingham, said: "This incident was horrendous. It will have caused great distress to the badger and to the dogs, which sustained serious wounds from the badger attempting to fight back. What makes it worse is that we will never know if the badger received injuries and between February and May cubs are born, which could also be injured or killed. It is despicable and I am appealing for anybody who knows who is badger baiting to report them to the police immediately."

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