Badgered by Badgers?
Badgers (Meles meles) may be one of the animals that find their way into our hearts when we are young via literature; think Mr Badger in The Wind and the Willows and Beatrix Potter’s Tommy Brock. However, these iconic black and white stripe faced creatures can become a real nuisance when they also find their way into our gardens.
How do I know if Badgers have Been on My Property?
Badgers are nocturnal, therefore visits to your property will generally take place at night. Being rather big creatures, weighing around 10- 12kg, badgers tend to leave behind a fair amount of evidence of their presence. Badgers are powerfully built, with sharp claws which are ideal for digging. They can damage gardens, especially lawns and plants, and also damage fencing in their attempts to enter gardens in search of food. Badgers are omnivores and enjoy a diet of fruit, invertebrates, and small mammals. The majority of their diet, around 80%, comprises of earthworms, which they can often find plenty of in a garden space. To gain access to an earthworm supply, they dig shallow pits in lawns, leaving round holes. If this wasn’t annoying enough, they also often leave their business cards by way of dung piles.
Badgers are not a rare or endangered species, yet they are protected by law under their own Act of Parliament, known as the Protection of Badgers Act 1992. The Badger Trust. explain the reason for this is due to the volume of interference and cruelty badgers have experienced for many years.
Under this law , it is an offense to:
- Intentionally capture, harm, or kill a badger
- Intentionally damage, destroy or obstruct access to a badger sett
- Disturb a badger when it is occupying a sett
- Deliberately allow or send a dog into a sett
- Bait or dig for badgers
The consequences of any of the above actions may result in a prison sentence of up to 6 months and an unlimited fine. There are exceptions to the above rules, and licenses can be sort should actions interfering with badgers and their setts be justified.
Many people question the protected status of the badger, in contrast to other, more endangered British wildlife. This question can be seen to carry further weight, as the badger can become infected with Bovine TB (bTB), which can then be transmitted to cattle. This poses a risk to the human food chain for humans who drink infected, unpasteurised milk.
Due to this, badger culling is permitted under licence as a means of controlling the spread of bTB.
However, scientists have argued against the culling of badgers, as the risk to public health is very low. Additionally, badgers are not the only carriers of bTB, therefore animal welfare groups have criticised the singling out of badgers.
Are you being badgered by badgers? Call Avon Pest Control today on 01926 632929 or 01789 293 463, and let our expert technicians advise you on the best course of action.