Immortalised in popular classic children’s literature such as The Wind In The Willows, badgers are traditional inhabitants of the British countryside and have been living in this country for about 250,000 years. Eurasian badgers are widely but unevenly distributed from Great Britain to Siberia. In this country there are thought to be about a quarter of a million badgers and these are found mostly in England and Wales, the smaller Scottish population now enjoy complete legal protection, but in England and Wales they may be officially hunted in some areas in 2012 in a highly controversial attempt to control the spread of Bovine Tuberculosis (bTB), a dangerous respiratory disease transmitted from infected cattle to other cattle and to wildlife and then from infected wildlife back to healthy cattle. Though it is clear that there should be a systematic campaign to control this disease in cattle - the National Farmers’ Union is gravely concerned about the increasing numbers of cattle infected, it is widely held that culling badgers would not be very effective as a solution. The majority of the British public oppose the the proposed cull, even the Government’s scientific officer who carried out the recent five year study into bTB control believes that a cull would fail to do much to solve the problem. It would seem to make more sense to inoculate healthy cattle, but intransigence in the EU bureaucracy makes this option very unlikely to be adopted.
An estimated 50,000 badgers are killed on our roads each year in traffic collisions. Not all the animals found dead by roads were killed by cars however, some are dumped there after having been killed elsewhere in an illegal blood sport known as badger baiting. This activity has been illegal since 1835 but is still practised by some sadistic deviants for the purpose of gambling. They first cripple the badger or bind it and then encourage fighting dogs to attack it. In the ferocious battle both badgers and dogs suffer terrible injuries. The badger always dies.
Criminal gangs also dig out badger setts and set dogs to fight the badgers in situ. It is illegal to interfere with a badger sett in any way without a special license.
Sea Turtle Conservation
Habitat: Burrows in banks in or near woodland
Context: woods, downs and farmland in Great Britain
Threats: Illegal persecution from hunting, snaring, poisoning and gassing, baiting with dogs as blood sport, death from traffic collisions and from officially sanctioned culling.
Badgers are one of the UK’s favourite animals, featuring in many of the nation’s most popular books. Badgers are members of the same family as otters, stoats and weasels, the mustelids. Though most people have seen them only on TV programmes such as Countryfile, or lying dead by the roadside, badger watching can be a fascinating and deeply touching activity, click here for details.
Environmental Education, Advocacy, stewardship, rehabilitation and release.
The Badger Trust
Intl Mail Address: Badger Trust PO Box 708, EAST GRINSTEAD, RH19 2WN
Telephone: 08458 - 28 78 78
Fax: 02380 - 23 38 96
Species: The British population of Eurasian Badger Meles meles
The Independent Scientific Group Says No
The Government set up the Randomised Badger Culling Trial overseen by the Independent Scientific Group (ISG) in the late 1990s. Many years and £50,000,000 later, thousands of badgers have been killed and the ISG has concluded in 2007 that culling badgers would have no meaningful effect on the control of bTB and that farmers should concentrate on improved cattle control measures instead. In 2009 and 2010, a 15% reduction in bTB was achieved in a test area through improved testing of cattle, movement controls and better cattle husbandry without killing any badgers.