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Protection of Badgers Act 1992


Badgers and their setts are comprehensively protected by the Protection of Badgers Act 1992 external site (as amended by the Nature Conservation (Scotland) Act 2004 external site ).

The offences

It is an offence to:

  • wilfully kill, injure, take or attempt to kill a badger;
  • possess a dead badger or any part of a dead badger;
  • cruelly ill-treat a badger;
  • use badger tongs in the course of killing, taking or attempting to kill a badger;
  • dig for a badger;
  • possess, sell or offer for sale any live badger;
  • mark, tag or ring a badger.

It is also a crime to interfere with a badger sett by intentionally or recklessly causing or allowing:

  • damage to a sett or any part of it;
  • destruction of it;
  • sett access to be obstructed, or any entrance of it;
  • a dog to enter it;
  • disturbance to a badger when it is occupying it.

A person attempting to commit an offence under the Act is guilty of that offence. 

Note:  A badger sett is defined in law as any structure or place which displays signs of current use by a badger.

Find out more about badgers


In common with other legislation, it is possible to carryout actions that would otherwise be illegal under a licence.  The licensing authority is either Scottish Natural Heritage (e.g. for development purposes) or Scottish Government (e.g. preventing the spread of disease). 

Last updated on Thursday 16th June 2011 at 09:55 AM. Click here to comment on this page