Badgers face daily persecution recently blocked setts show

Police in two counties are appealing for information following the discovery of blocked badger setts. And it’s a reminder that one of Britain’s most iconic mammals continues facing daily persecution.

On 23rd January, news reports came out of blocked badger setts found in both Lincolnshire and Worcestershire.

LincolnshireLive said that police had launched a public appeal following the discovery of two “illegally blocked” badger setts in Honington/Belton, near Grantham. Lincolnshire Police said that nine entrances were blocked across the two setts. Meanwhile, Worcester News covered the news that someone had blocked a sett entrance with a “drenched diesel rag”. The sett is located in Kingswood, near the village of Himbleton. And some people have connected both incidents to hunting.

Guess who…

While there is little further public information on the Lincolnshire setts, some sources suggested it was related to the Belvoir Hunt. Anti-hunt monitoring group Locals Against The Belvoir Hunt shared the news of the blocked setts and said:

“And guess who was in the immediate area on Tuesday [17 January]?

The bloody Belvoir Hunt.”

Badger at the entrance to a sett

Meanwhile, Three Counties Hunt Saboteurs told Worcester News that the diesel-soaked rag was put there “to aid fox hunting” by the Worcestershire Hunt on 11 January. The paper said that the smell of diesel could deter foxes from entering the sett. West Mercia Police said it is “carrying out enquiries” into the allegations.

Ongoing persecution

Interfering with and blocking badger setts is illegal under both the Protection of Badgers Act 1992 and Hunting Act 2004. Nonetheless, they are still frequently targetted. In the case of hunting, terriermen will frequently block sett entrances to stop a fox attempting to protect itself by hiding inside the sett. However, setts are blocked and interfered with for other equally grim pastimes such as badger baiting.

A 2018 article in the Independent reported how anti-hunting activists across England found hundreds of setts blocked in the 2017/18 hunting season alone.

Read more about badger persecution.

Featured image via caroline legg/Flickr