Badgers have been the victim of persecution for centuries, but as a result of many years of campaigning by groups and individuals the badger was granted protection by the Badgers Act in 1973.

Continued persecution combined with several loopholes in the law resulted in a number of amendments to the original Act. This legislation has now been consolidated in the Protection of Badgers Act, 1992.

Despite protective legislation badgers remain a target for criminals to pursue.

Illegal threats to badgers include:

  • badger-digging and baiting
  • snaring
  • poisoning (including the misuse of pesticides)
  • lamping
  • sett interference
  • illegal activities by some fox hunts
  • sett-stopping by fox hunts

Subject to compliance with conditions in the Protection of Badgers Act 1992, badgers also are endangered by:

  • road and housing development
  • forestry and agricultural operations
  • badger culling by Defra in relation to bovine TB in cattle

For more information, please refer to:

In June 2009 Natural England published two documents relating to Badger Setts:

Interpretation of ‘Disturbance’ in relation to badgers occupying a sett
Guidance on ‘Current Use’ in the definition of a Badger Sett