Protection of Badgers Act 1992

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European Badger (Meles meles)
European Badger (Meles meles)

The Protection of Badgers Act 1992 is a UK law that aims to protect badgers and their setts from harm and persecution. Badgers are a native species of Britain and have been historically hunted for their fur, meat and sport. They are also blamed for spreading diseases such as bovine tuberculosis to cattle.

The Act consolidates and improves previous legislation, such as the Badgers Act 1973 and the Badgers (Further Protection) Act 1991. It makes it an offence to "wilfully kill, injure or take a badger", or to "damage or interfere with a sett" unless a licence is obtained from a statutory authority. A sett is defined as any structure or place which displays signs indicating current use by a badger.

The Act also prohibits cruelty to badgers, such as baiting them with dogs or using snares or traps. It also bans the selling and possession of live badgers, as well as the marking and ringing of badgers without a licence.

The Act provides some exceptions and licences for certain activities that may affect badgers or their setts, such as agriculture, forestry, development, research and conservation. These activities must be carried out in accordance with the terms and conditions of the licence, which may include measures to minimise disturbance or harm to badgers.

The Act also gives powers of enforcement to the police, who can enter land and premises, search vehicles and seize evidence if they suspect an offence under the Act. The Act also sets out the penalties and forfeiture for offenders, which may include fines, imprisonment or confiscation of dogs or equipment.

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