Humberside Police: Operation Badger

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19th April 2018
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19th April 2018

Humberside Police: Operation Badger

Working together to drive down wildlife crime

As its name suggests this relates to crimes against badgers.  Crimes against badgers can take many forms and the issues of badger digging and killing is more common than people might think.

Humberside Police treat all wildlife crime very seriously and to deal with these issues we are undertaking ongoing activity in relation to Operation Badger.

Badgers and their homes (called setts) are protected under the Protection of Badgers Act 1992 and other relevant wildlife and animal welfare legislation. They can only be killed or their sett disturbed under licence from Natural England in limited circumstances.

Crimes committed against badgers are one of the current UK Wildlife Crime Priorities enforced by Humberside Police.

Badger digging involves the offending person entering a terrier wearing a locator collar into a sett.  Once it finds a badger the offender will dig down and remove the badger, where it is often then horrifically injured and thrown to the dogs, this often results in the badger suffering an agonising and prolonged death. The dogs involved can also suffer terrible injuries as a result and rarely receive veterinary treatment for their injuries.

Another crime is the avoidable disturbance or destruction of badger setts which can take place when otherwise legal work or development is carried out or by means of illegal or reckless snaring, gassing, shooting and the use of dogs and high powered lights at night (lamping).

Our Wildlife Crime Officer Brandon Ward says, “Badger digging and baiting are vicious, barbaric acts carried out by cruel and mindless criminals who are fully aware that what they are doing is criminal.  Offenders should be aware, however, that they are on our radar, they and anyone else who commits offences against badgers or any of our wildlife should be looking over their shoulder and if caught we will deal strongly with them.”

“We don’t work on these operations on our own, to help tackle wildlife offences involving badgers we work alongside various partner agencies and neighbouring forces.  We have also linked up with the East Yorkshire Badger Protection Group (EYBPG) to ensure that all instances of persecution are recorded and information shared so that we can deal with all reported cases.”

A spokesperson for EYBPG said “Crimes against badgers are not uncommon and the group has dealt with lamping, digging, shooting, gassing, poisoning and snaring incidents.  We are very pleased to be able to work more closely with Brandon and his fellow officers as such co-operation can only serve to benefit badger welfare”

“We welcome anyone who is interested in badger welfare to become a member, particularly those willing to monitor setts in their local area or beyond. So if you are interested in joining us please get in touch”

“Further information can be found on the website or via email on

There is a wealth of crime prevention advice and information specifically about rural crime on our website: Rural Crime


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