Badger Crime

What is badger persecution?

Badger persecution comes in many forms from badger baiting - the practice of digging out a sett and then setting dogs on the badgers - to the careless operation of machinery engaged in otherwise legal activities such as development, forestry or agricultural operations. The manner in which badgers are killed is often extremely cruel and can include being ripped apart by dogs or entombed underground when sett entrances are blocked. Other incidents have shown that they can be gassed, shot or even drowned by slurry pumped into their setts.

Why does badger persecution matter?

The cruel manner in which many badgers die should concern us all and often only comes to light when badger deaths are reported. A badger’s death has little impact on the person who kills it but the effects can be far reaching. Dependent cubs left when a mother is killed will starve without her. A dead boar badger will leave a void in the breeding cycle which may mean the loss of one or more generations within a badger social group.

The dogs used in baiting usually suffer severe injuries and, as most vets will be able to tell how these occurred, they are often not taken to a qualified practitioner for treatment. Terrible wounds are either stitched up by the baiters themselves using non-sterile techniques and no anaesthetic, or simply not treated at all.

What can I do?


  • Be aware of any badger setts within your area and keep an eye on them.
  • Tell Scottish Badgers about the sett by contacting us
  • If you become suspicious of any activity at or near a badger sett, contact your local police, report the incident as on-going and ask for the police to attend.
  • Take a note of the registration numbers of vehicles you might see close to the incident.
  • Note how many people and dogs are present. Take a description of the persons and note any equipment they may have with them. Take a photograph if it is safe to do so.

Do not

  • Approach these people or let them know you are watching them. They are frequently of a violent nature and you should never place yourself in a position where you could be threatened or assaulted.


For issues related to badger crime, legislation, planning, mitigation, data searches and to log badger records:

Available between 09:00 and 17:00 on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday ONLY

Species Protection Co-ordinator

T: 07866 844232


For matters relating to our Badgers in the Landscape - Community Building for Wildlife project:

Project Officer

T: 07565 813401


For training, web presence and general enquiries:

T: 07376 636341 or 07792 142446



Scottish Badgers (SCIO) Charity Number SCO34297.