Badgers Act 1973

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation1973 c. 57


Badgers Act 1973

1973 CHAPTER 57

An Act to prohibit, save as permitted under this Act, the taking, injuring or killing of badgers.

[25th July 1973]

Be it enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

S-1 Taking, injuring or killing of badgers.

1 Taking, injuring or killing of badgers.

1. If, save as permitted by or under this Act, any person wilfully kills, injures or takes, or attempts to kill, injure or take, any badger, he shall be guilty of an offence.

(2) If, save as permitted by or under this Act, any person has in his possession or under his control—

(a ) a recently killed badger, or

(b ) a pelt from a freshly skinned badger,

he shall, subject to subsection (3) below, be guilty of an offence.

(3) A person shall not be guilty of an offence under subsection (2) above if the killing of the badger concerned was permitted by or under this Act.

S-2 Offences of cruelty.

2 Offences of cruelty.

2. If any person shall—

a ) cruelly ill-treat any badger
b ) use in the course of killing or taking, or attempting to kill or take any badger, any badger tongs
c ) subject to section 7(3) of this Act, dig for any badger, or
d ) use for the purpose of killing or taking any badger any firearm other than a smooth bore weapon of not less than 20 bore or a rifle using ammunition having a muzzle energy of not less than 160 footpounds and a bullet weighing not less than 38 grains,

he shall be guilty of an offence.

S-3 Selling and possession of live badgers.

3 Selling and possession of live badgers.

3. If, save as permitted by or under this Act, any person sells, offers for sale or has in his possession or under his control any live badger he shall be guilty of an offence.

S-4 Restriction of marking and ringing.

4 Restriction of marking and ringing.

4. If, save as may be authorised by licence granted under section 9 of this Act, any person marks, or attaches any ring, tag or other marking device to, any badger (other than one which is lawfully in his possession by virtue of section 8(2)(a ) of this Act or of such a licence) he shall be guilty of an offence.

S-5 Offender may be required to quit land.

5 Offender may be required to quit land.

5. If any person shall be found committing an offence under section 1 of this Act on any land, it shall be lawful for the owner or occupier of the land, or any servant of the owner or occupier, or any constable, to require that person forthwith to quit such land and also to give his name and address; and if that person on being so required wilfully remains upon the land or refuses to give his full name or address, he shall be guilty of an offence.

S-6 Special protection for badgers.

6 Special protection for badgers.

(1) Where after consultation with the Natural Environment Research Council it appears to the Secretary of State necessary for the proper conservation of badgers he may by order declare any area specified in the order to be an area of special protection for badgers.

(2) Any order made under this section shall be made by statutory instrument which shall be subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament and may be varied or revoked by a subsequent order made in like manner.

S-7 Exceptions for authorised persons.

7 Exceptions for authorised persons.

(1) Except within an area of special protection, an authorised person shall not be guilty of an offence under section 1(1) of this Act by reason of—

(a ) the killing or taking or attempted killing or taking of any badger, or

(b ) the injuring of any badger in the course of taking it, or attempting to take or kill it.

(2) Within an area of special protection, an authorised person shall not be guilty of an offence under section 1(1) of this Act by reason of—

(a ) the killing or taking or attempted killing or taking of any badger, or

(b ) the injuring of any badger in the course of taking it, or attempting to take or kill it,

if he satisfies the court before whom he is charged that his action was necessary for the purpose of preventing serious damage to land, crops, poultry or any other form of property or for the purpose of preventing the spread of disease.

(3) An authorised person shall not be guilty of an offence under paragraph (c ) of section 2 of this Act if he satisfies the court before whom he is charged that his action was necessary for the purpose of preventing serious damage to land, crops, poultry or any other form of property or for the purpose of preventing the spread of disease.

S-8 General exceptions.

8 General exceptions.

(1) A person shall not be guilty of an offence under this Act by reason only of—

(a ) the taking or attempted taking of any badger which had been disabled otherwise than by his act and was taken or to be taken solely for the purpose of tending it;

(b ) the killing or attempted killing of any badger which appeared to be so seriously injured or in such a condition that to kill it would be an act of mercy;

(c ) the unavoidable killing or injuring of any badger as an incidental result of a lawful action.

(2) It shall not be an offence under section 3 of this Act for any person to have a live badger in his possession or under his control if—

(a ) it has been kept in captivity by that person...

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