Protection and survey methods
Badgers are protected under the Badgers Act 1992. This makes it an offence to wilfully kill, injure, take, possess or cruelly ill-treat a badger, or to attempt to do so; or to intentionally or recklessly interfere with a sett. Sett interference includes disturbing badgers whilst they are occupying a sett, as well as damaging or destroying a sett or obstructing access to it.
Removal of significant areas of badger foraging habitat may also contravene the Act, as it could be regarded as cruelty. A sett is any structure or place which shows signs indicating it’s currently being used by a badger. This means that the tunnels and chambers and the areas immediately outside the entrances are all part of the sett as well as any other structure used as refuge.
Potential impacts to badgers that should be considered include damage or loss of setts, loss of foraging areas and disturbance to badgers while they’re occupying setts with noise, lights, vibration, fires or chemicals. Remote monitoring and bait marking are effective survey methods that give robust data to aid in drawing up appropriate mitigation plans.
Strict guidance from Natural England must be followed to carry out licensed work with badgers on your site.