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Amend the Protection of Badgers Act 1992 and allow members of the public to prevent badger invasion of their land without the risk of criminal proceedings

Comment 22nd July 2010

My wife & I have two small sons and a small garden which has been invaded for the past 4 years by badgers.

On behalf of myself & neighbours who are similarly afflicted (neighbours which include the playing fields of two Junior Schools) – I have approached the local council who referred me to Natural England. I have had to obtain a licence in order to fill in a badger burrow in my garden which had to be completed between the months of June & November. In spite of this, the badgers burrowing has continued and has now criss-crossing my lawn which makes subsidence likely. The badgers have inflicted significant damage on my & my neighbours gardens & have also used our gardens & the local schools playing fields as latrines. The health & wellbeing of my sons & neighbours including the pupils both Junior Schools are being threatened.

 I have been informed by Natural England that to remove the badgers from their Sett, I would have to obtain the corresponding licence and incur a likely cost of around £50,000. If I take any other action including allowing our pet dog into our own garden, I would risk prosecution under the Protection of Badgers Act 1992 and if convicted, liable to a fine of £5,000 and/or imprisonment for up to 6 months.

It appears the rights of badgers supersede that of human beings!  I am becoming increasingly frustrated by this piece of legislation. With regard to badger invasions, we are not alone as many cries of frustration can be read on the internet.

The above Act needs amending so that members of the public can 'armour' their land boundaries/fences against badger invasion at any time of the year without the threat of prosecution,  imprisonment and gaining a criminal record!!

Why does this matter?

Currently, dealing with badger invasions of ones land is a very time consuming, frustrating & potentially costly process. It has to be done between July & November & involves a licencing system run by Natural England part of DEFRA.

Once badgers have burrowed into your garden, your garden becomes part of their Sett. As a result, blocking these football sized holes without a licence, allowing your pet dog into your own garden or doing anything to restrict badger access to your garden is a Crimial Offence punishable by fines and or prison.

Members of the public can defend their property against foxes – which can be lawfully shot, burgalars who can be restrained  but can do next to nothing against badgers. This is a perverse situation which needs to be changed.

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