Advice, licensing and legislation relating to badgers.
Badgers and their setts are protected under the Protection of Badgers Act 1992, which makes it illegal to kill, injure or take badgers or to interfere with a badger sett. The term ‘badger sett’ is normally understood to mean the system of tunnels and chambers, in which badgers live, and their entrances and immediate surrounds. The 1992 Act specifically defines a sett as “any structure or place which displays signs indicating current use by a badger”. Guidance on interpretation of this definition: (29kb). Interference with a sett includes blocking tunnels or damaging the sett in any way. Please note the consequential amendments to the above legislation as a result of the Hunting Act 2004.
Activities affecting badgers or their setts which would otherwise be illegal can be carried out under licence where there is suitable justification and the problem cannot be resolved by alternative means.
Please note: licences to kill or take badgers are only issued in exceptional circumstances. The majority of problems posed by badgers can be resolved non-lethally, normally by the partial or complete closure of the sett of the badger(s) causing the problem under licence. See advice, licences and how to apply below.
|Advice to householders TIN004||Badger problems and solutions - primarily in gardens||Householders|
|Problems with badgers in rural areas TIN005||Guidance on legal protection, agricultural and flood defence problems||Farmers, landowners|
|Badger problems: use of electric fencing to prevent agricultural damage TIN027||Badger fencing - details for exclusion||Farmers, landowners|
|Badger gates in rabbit-proof fencing TIN026||Preventing damage to rabbit fencing by allowing badger access||Farmers, landowners|
|Using one-way gates on badger sett entrances (use requires a licence) TIN025||Advice on one-way gates for licensed sett closure. For damage cases apply on WML-A01: (279kb)||Householders, farmers, landowners|
|Forest operations and badger setts FCPG009|
|Advice for foresters on legal protection and problems with badger setts||Foresters|
|Badgers and development IN75||Guidance on badgers and licensing for developments where a licence is required apply on WML-A24: (234kb)||Developers, ecological consultants|
|Guidance on what constitutes “disturbance” to badgers in their setts WML-G16: (25kb)||Advice to help understand what is considered to be 'disturbance'||General|
|Guidance on “current use” of a badger sett WML-G17: (29kb)||Advice to help understand what 'current use' means||General|
|Bovine TB (AHVLA all guidance)||Practical steps to reduce risk of TB in cattle||Farmers|
Additional guidance specifically related to licensing only is included in the section below.
Licences for activities prohibited under wildlife legislation are only issued for specific purposes, where there is valid justification. Your activity may be possible under a Class licence detailed below but you must ensure you are eligible and abide by their conditions.
Otherwise please apply for an individual tailored licence, each form below explains what you must provide. Licences and advice are provided free of charge. See our licences page for more information on: who needs a licence, what types there are and how long they take to obtain.
|Description||Who can use this?||Registration|
|WML CL-26 To permit interference with badger (Meles meles) setts where there is a requirement to conduct forestry operations: (218kb)|
Licence report form: (91kb)
|Persons registered to use this licence and their assistants, who are employees of the Forestry Commission or Forestry Commission-approved Contractors||You need to notify Customer Services Wildlife Licensing in writing that you wish to use the licence|
|WML CL-27 To permit interference with badger (Meles meles) setts where there is a need to conduct routine water course or drainage maintenance operations: (205kb)|
Licence report form : (91kb)
Persons registered to use this licence and their assistants, who are employees or contractors of the Internal Drainage Boards
|You need to notify Customer Services Wildlife Licensing in writing that you wish to use the licence|
|Application form/example case||Guidance||Report/Renewal|
|In relation to development: WML-A24: (234kb) Please note from 1 January 2011 the Citizens charter response time will be 30 days for these cases. (e.g. housing developments, pipelines, new fences)||WML-LR24: (215kb)|
|In relation to damage, agriculture, forestry, drainage and preventing the spread of disease: WML-A01: (279kb) (e.g. badger setts in fields requiring cultivation or forests to be felled or thinned)||WML-LR01: (227kb)|
|For the purpose of preservation or archaeological investigation of a scheduled monument: WML-A26: (203kb) (e.g. badger sett found within the area of an archaeological investigation)||WML-LR01: (227kb)|
|For science, education and conservation, ringing or marking: WML-A25: (258kb) (e.g. trapping and marking badgers as part of a research project)
Template for References: (74kb)
Latest news and background information on Bovine TB and badger control in England.