Badger baiters blamed for digging
Surrey Advertiser - 4th December 1998
BADGER baiters are being blamed for digging out a sett
on Farley Heath, Albury, this week.
Evidence that supporters of the sick
sport had struck was discovered on Monday by local resident and wildlife
lover Betty Edwards, when she was out walking her dog.
I have been keeping an eye on the sett for well over 20 years and this is
the first time we have ever had any digging in a sett round here, Mrs Edwards
said. I know it goes on, but for it to be so close as this is very
upsetting, she went on, explaining that a hole about 3ft wide and 3ft deep had
been dug into the sett. She called Jeff Clark, chairman of the West Surrey Badger Group, of which she is also a member. He inspected the sett and then
alerted police, though he admitted it was unlikely anyone would be caught.
Badger baiting was mainly confined to the North, though, he said, it was
spreading to the Midlands. However, with setts there now heavily protected,
baiting gangs were travelling South to find animals.
Badgers and their setts are protected by law so the gangs usually strike in
the evening or early morning - not at night, as some people think, because the
badgers are then out and about when fewer people are likely to be around. Mr
Clark said modern technology helped them trap their prey - a dog fitted with a
radio transmitter is put down the entrance to a sett and then tracked above
When the dog stops its handler knows it has a badger at bay and can dig
straight down to it. Sometimes a badger will be dug out and immediately thrown
to a pack of dogs, but in this case, it was most likely the animal had been
taken away for use elsewhere, possibly for sale to a baiting ring. A ring will
be set up and the badger will be put in against dogs and bets will be taken on
how long it will last, he explained.
The Guildford police areas wildlife liaison officer, Sgt Steve Juliffe, said
he needed descriptions, vehicle numbers or other evidence before he could take
action to stop what he described as a barbaric activity. I am keen to find
out who has done this, but I can only do that with public support, he added.
He can be contacted via Guildford police station on 01483 531111.
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