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Badgers and their setts are a protected species by the law. This makes it illegal to kill, injure or interfere with them or their sett in any way, even if they are damaging your property.

Badgers frequently forage for food, and as residential areas continue to expand badgers are living closer to built-up areas and sometimes can result in damage to gardens or local land. This might include damage to fences, digging up lawns for food, breaking branches on trees while climbing them, and digging latrines (dung pits) in the earth to mark their territories.

There are a few things you can do to avoid this from happening to you home or land.

Minimising Damage

Badgers are creatures of habit and will continue to use pathways they have used previously, even if it means barricading through newly replaced fences, and gates. To deter them from doing this again you could:

  • Erect a strong fence that is a minimum of 125cm in height. The fence will need to be dug into the ground by at least 30cm, but 50cm is most recommended to withhold the strength of a badger.
  • You could also use a humane electric fence. This has the advantage of being removable and can be used between July- November when badgers are most troublesome.
  • Gateways and other points of entry need to be secure enough to stop badgers getting through or climbing over/under.
  • Add two-way gates to fences. This allows you to lock the gate to only open a certain way to let badgers out, and not back in.
  • You could apply an appropriate insecticide or vermicide to remove the insects or earthworms in the ground to deter digging. However this will deny food sources to other animals as well as badgers.

What happens if damage is caused to my land or elsewhere?

If there has been some damage to your land, or land local to you, unfortunately it is for the land owner to seek the best course of action.

As a protected species, the council has no further power than that of a local resident and is only able to offer guidance and advice. This is also the case for the cost of repair, and so we advise homeowners and landowners to check their building insurance and any other insurance, to make sure that they are protected in the event of damage.

If more than one homeowners in your neighbourhood have been affected by damage, we encourage owners to address the issue together and contribute equally to any works required.

If you are a private tenant or Housing Association tenant, you should contact your landlord.

If you are a Dudley Council tenant, you should contact your Housing Manager.

Do I need a Licence?

Householders/agencies can apply for a licence to seek to exclude badgers from a sett.

However, badger licences (and the work they permit) are awarded only where severe damage is being caused and you have shown that you have exhausted all options to avoid affecting badgers.

There are various Badger licences depending on the course of action you are wanting to take. We advise you to research into this before applying. Find out more on Badgers: licence to interfere with setts (dens).

Protection of Badgers Act 1992

Under the Protection of Badgers Act 1992 you could be sent to prison and fined if you are found guilty of any of the following 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

Natural England is licensed England to control badgers for the purpose of preventing the spread of disease by culling, taking of badgers or interference with badger setts.

Due to this protection the council are not able to provide any pest control services for Badgers.

  • For further information please contact us.

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