Northern Ireland badger crime remains widespread, new badger report reveals

Posted by
editor@newrytimes.com
Tuesday, December 15th, 2020
Community

A report highlighting the disturbance of badgers and destruction their setts in Northern Ireland has stated that there were 155 incidents concerning potential crimes against badgers reported to the PSNI during the period 2016-18. 

 

NI badger crime remains widespread, the updated PAW NI badger report reveals - PAW NI Badger Report - Newry online

 

Published by the “Partnership for Action against Wildlife Crime – Northern Ireland” (PAW NI) the report reveals these offences were categorised as incidents which may have constituted wildlife crime, including incidents of sett disturbance; suspected badger baiting; or misuse of traps and snares.

 

 

Wildlife crime incidents against badgers in 2016-18 had a wide geographic distribution throughout Northern Ireland. 

However, most reports were made within County Down and County Antrim. 

Dr Jon Lees, Northern Ireland Environment Agency – Wildlife Officer and Chair of the PAW NI Badger Subgroup said, “Around 50 incidents of crime against badgers are reported annually, but as with other wildlife crime we suspect this is not the full picture and many more occurrences may be going unrecorded. 

 

 

“Incidents of badger baiting for ‘sport’ are unfortunately still occurring in across Northern Ireland in the 21st century. 

“Additionally, willful or careless destruction of sett structures by landowners or their agents is causing death and distress to the animals,” he continued.

“Should members of the public suspect that a Wildlife Crime has been committed, we strongly advise people to report it to the PSNI by dialling Tel 101; describing the call as a Wildlife Crime report; giving details of the (potential) crime, and asking for an incident reference number.

“Alternatively, information can be left anonymously with Crimestoppers NI at 0800 555 111.”

 

 

It is widely believed that badger-related wildlife crime, like all wildlife crime, is under-reported in Northern Ireland. 

The report aims to help inform the public to discern what constitutes a badger crime, which may increase future reporting.

Supt. Brian Kee, Police Service of Northern Ireland Service Lead for Rural and Wildlife Crime for the Police Service of Northern Ireland said, “The Police Service of Northern Ireland take wildlife crime very seriously and will investigate if there is a breach in the legislation.

“In Northern Ireland Badgers and their setts are protected under the Wildlife (NI) Order 1985 (as amended by the Wildlife and Natural Environment Act (NI) 2011.

 

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“In brief the law states: By being listed on Schedule 5 the badger cannot be intentionally killed, injured or taken.

“No person can possess or control a live or dead badger or part derived from one.

“The sett cannot be destroyed, damaged or have access by badgers obstructed.

“It is also an offence to damage or destroy anything which conceals or protects a badger or to disturb a badger whilst it is occupying one.”

 

 

The full report is available to read or download here.

 

 

Keep up to date with the latest Northern Ireland business news, marketing tips and tricks and advice for local businesses on the Tall Paul Marketing website.

 

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