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Badger Baiting in the UK

Watching badgers and dogs fight until death is perceived as good fun for some people.  In fact, some baiters have even been known to join in the fight, brutally beating the badgers with spades or stamping on them. 

The badgers always die in the end, but that ‘end’ is the result of a long, excruciatingly painful and frightening struggle.  The dogs may also die.  But if not, their wounds that usually include torn ears or ripped-off lips, are treated without professional veterinary care.

These sadistic acts of violence are happening all over the UK in the name of entertainment.

Our aim is to bring an end to badger baiting, sett digging, illegal lamping, killing and other acts of cruelty towards badgers involving the use of dogs. 

Here’s what we’re doing to make this happen:

1. To increase our influence with fundamental decision making processes among partner organisations, including police and other leading animal welfare charities, we have joined:

2. We have appointed our first Wildlife Crime Adviser, Andy Swinburne to promote, support and contribute towards the fight against badger crime.  He is a former Wildlife Crime Officer and has 13 years’ experience fighting badger crime.

 As the Secretariat of the Badger Persecution Priority Delivery Group, Andy will play a vital role in the administrative running and direction of this group and its UK strategic response to illegal badger persecution through Prevention, Intelligence and Enforcement initiatives. 

3. In February 2018, we launched a campaign calling for all wildlife crime in England and Wales to be centrally recorded by the Home Office.  Current recording methods are inadequate, and subsequently wildlife crimes are going unpunished and wildlife is dying.

4. We continue to work with the Badger Trust to deliver badger persecution training to police forces, and are aiming for all forces in England and Wales to receive the one-day course by the end of this year.  The training equips police to identify whether a sett is active and recognise unusual activity, and demonstrates the best use of legislation to bring perpetrators before the courts.

5. We are also conducting our own investigations into badger crime but I can’t elaborate too much on this given the covert nature of the work.  Know that we are working hard to gather high-quality information that we will pass onto police.