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The Badger

Scientific name: Meles meles

At a glance

Badger in woodland

Everyone knows what a badger looks like.

With its black and white striped face, powerful build, and low-slung stocky body our largest remaining land predator looks like no other UK mammal.

Native to almost all of Europe, badgers live in a mixture of habitats, typically woodland and open countryside, where they live in underground burrows called setts. Badgers often occupy the same sett for generations: researchers working in Oxford think that a well-studied sett present in Wytham Woods is at least 475 years old! We have more information here – Badger Setts

Badgers are widespread in Britain. In England they are most common in the south west, rarer to the north and east. Badgers are more thinly distributed in Scotland. They are common throughout most of Ireland, but absent from the Isle of Man, and most of the other islands.

Population surveys are difficult to do on largely nocturnal animals that live underground, but before the badger cull it was estimated that the UK held around 450,000 individuals – a quarter of the entire global population.

The Protection of Badgers Act 1992 consolidates past badger legislation and, in addition to protecting the badger itself from being killed, persecuted or trapped, makes it an offence to damage, destroy or obstruct badger setts.

Despite being fully protected in law, hundreds of thousands of badgers have been killed to protect the dairy industry in a cull that began as a trial in 2013 but is still ongoing more than a decade later. Thousands more die on our roads. Badgers are still being persecuted by badger baiters, and are killed on shooting estates.

Protect the Wild is determined to help stop the persecution.

We are calling on the new Labour government to honour its promise to stop the badger cull. Join us and sign a letter to the Prime Minister, Defra Secretary, and Farming Minister today!

Badger Facts

Badger Facts

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Badgers and the Law

Badgers and the Law

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The Badger Cull

The Badger Cull

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Badger Baiting

Badger Baiting

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Sign our cull petition

Sign our cull petition

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Adopt a Badger

Adopt a Badger

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