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Badgers: protection and licences.


Badgers and their setts (tunnels and chambers where they live) are protected by law.

You may be able to get a licence from Natural England if you can’t avoid disturbing badgers in their sett or damaging their sett.

What you must not do

You could be sent to prison for up to 6 months and get an unlimited fine if you’re found guilty of any of these offences:

  • intentionally capture, kill or injure a badger
  • damage, destroy or block access to their setts
  • disturb badgers in setts
  • treat a badger cruelly
  • deliberately send or intentionally allow a dog into a sett
  • bait or dig for badgers

You’re breaking the law and could get an unlimited fine if you:

  • have or sell a badger, or offer a live badger for sale
  • have or possess a dead badger or parts of a badger (if you got it illegally)
  • mark or attach a marking device to a badger.
  • When you’ll need a licence

    In most cases you should be able to avoid disturbing badgers and damaging or blocking access to their sett.

    If you can’t avoid this, you can apply for a licence to interfere with a sett from Natural England. You’ll need to show you’ve tried everything else possible to avoid affecting badgers.

    You’ll need expert help with your licence application if it’s for a development project. Find out what type of survey and mitigation methods will be needed to support a planning application.

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