Protection for Badgers

Thank you for contacting me about the protection of badgers and other wildlife. In England, the Protection of Badgers Act 1992 restricts the killing, injuring or taking of badgers, or interference with their setts. The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 provides protection against certain methods of killing or taking.

Badger persecution is one of seven UK wildlife crime priorities. Priority areas are those which are assessed as posing the greatest current threat to either the conservation status of a species or which show the highest volume of crime and therefore they are assessed as requiring an immediate UK-wide response.

The Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Act 2021 brought in tougher sentences for animal cruelty, raising the maximum prison sentence from six months to five years. As well as a prison sentence, offenders can also receive an unlimited fine. This means that the UK has some of the toughest sentences for animal cruelty in Europe, ensuring that courts are able to enforce extended penalties for those who cruelly mistreat any animal, sending a clear message that animal cruelty will not be tolerated.