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Hero left for dead by badger baiters receives award

A heroic former sab violently attacked by badger baiters last year has received an award for his work to protect badgers and other wildlife.

Daniel, who at the time was colloquially known as ‘Puffer’, was knocked unconscious by a group of five badger baiters in Darcy Lever in April last year.

He discovered the men with two dogs as he went to check a badger sett he had been monitoring.

Daniel confronted the group which attacked him with the spades they were digging with, leaving him for dead and bleeding heavily from a head wound. He needed 42 stitches and surgery on his ear.

Fortunately, he has not suffered any long-term physical damage but is left with scars from the attack.

Badger crime is one of the seven national wildlife crime priorities of the National Wildlife Crime Unit (NWCU), and Daniel has now been honoured with a certificate of commendation and a special commemorative coin from the NWCU and the Badger Persecution Priority Delivery Group (BPPDG) for his bravery and his continued work protecting badgers and other wildlife.

DC Aaron Flint, chair of the BPPDG presented Daniel with his coin and certificate.

awarded to daniel for tackling badger baiters

He said: “Daniel was presented with a Badger Persecution Priority Delivery Group challenge coin to recognise the hard work he puts in protecting badgers in Lancashire and the surrounding areas.

“He constantly goes out of his way to help protect badgers, monitoring at risk setts and co-ordinating the Bolton district area of the Lancashire Badger Group.

“His dedication to the protection of badgers is truly commendable and he is a truly worthy recipient of a challenge coin.”

Daniel said: “I’m very happy to receive this award from DC Aaron Flint of the BPPDG and NWCU. It’s a unique award that’s up on display in my home with pride.

“It’s nice to be recognised as so many of us volunteers do this in the background.

“I would also like to thank Lancashire Badger Group, NWCU, BCPDG and the RSPCA Special Operations for all their continued support and resources in fighting wildlife crime.”

 

More needs to be done

Daniel says there are improvements that could be made in order to adequately protect wildlife across the region, including free training for police forces and the formation of dedicated wildlife units, both of which Greater Manchester Police (GMP) are yet to do.

He said: “Lancashire and South Manchester Badger Groups have been trying to change this to no avail.

“Despite a meeting with Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham about this huge problem, nothing has changed, and wildlife is still being persecuted.

“Badgers are a protected species under the Protection of Badger Act 1992 and The Hunting Act 2004, yet when a member of the public reports a crime against badgers or any other wildlife and calls 999, they will simply be given a log number.

“Members of the public recognise that wildlife crime is not taken seriously.

“Whilst it is important that crimes are logged, unless they are properly investigated by teams with the knowledge to do so there will be no progress made.

“We need GMP to take advantage of the training and recommendations being made to them in order for them to be more effective in reducing wildlife crime.”

 

Meetings underway

A spokesperson for Greater Manchester Combined Authority said: “Following a meeting between the Mayor and the South Manchester Badger Group, discussions have been held between GMCA and with Greater Manchester Police regarding Wildlife Crime in Greater Manchester and the level of resources provided in support of that.

“The Mayor recognises the seriousness of these crimes and also the connectivity to other forms of crime, including serious and organised crime.

“Within the ongoing review of neighbourhood policing in Greater Manchester, the Deputy Chief Constable has agreed for work to be undertaken to scope the potential introduction of dedicated Wildlife Crime officers to continue GMP’s attendance at national conferences and training courses and complement the important work of the network of volunteers who assist GMP with such investigations.

“The Mayor and Deputy Mayor will continue to monitor and support this work as this develops.”

 

 

  • Protect the Wild supports the fight against badger persecution. Please go to our Badger Facts page for more info