Protection of Badgers Act 1992

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation1992 c. 51


Protection of Badgers Act1992

1992 CHAPTER 51

An Act to consolidate the Badgers Act 1973, the Badgers Act 1991 and the Badgers (Further Protection) Act 1991.

[16th July 1992]

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:—

Offences

Offences

S-1 Taking, injuring or killing badgers.

1 Taking, injuring or killing badgers.

(1) A person is guilty of an offence if, except as permitted by or under this Act, he wilfully kills, injures or takes, or attempts to kill, injure or take, a badger.

(2) If, in any proceedings for an offence under subsection (1) above consisting of attempting to kill, injure or take a badger, there is evidence from which it could reasonably be concluded that at the material time the accused was attempting to kill, injure or take a badger, he shall be presumed to have been attempting to kill, injure or take a badger unless the contrary is shown.

(3) A person is guilty of an offence if, except as permitted by or under this Act, he has in his possession or under his control any dead badger or any part of, or anything derived from, a dead badger.

(4) A person is not guilty of an offence under subsection (3) above if he shows that—

(a) the badger had not been killed, or had been killed otherwise than in contravention of the provisions of this Act or of the Badgers Act 1973 ; or

(b) the badger or other thing in his possession or control had been sold (whether to him or any other person) and, at the time of the purchase, the purchaser had had no reason to believe that the badger had been killed in contravention of any of those provisions.

(5) If a person is found committing an offence under this section 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 the land and also to give his name and address; and if that person on being so required wilfully remains on the land or refuses to give his full name or address he is guilty of an offence.

S-2 Cruelty.

2 Cruelty.

(1) A person is guilty of an offence if—

(a) he cruelly ill-treats a badger:

(b) he uses any badger tongs in the course of killing or taking, or attempting to kill or take, a badger;

(c) except as permitted by or under this Act, he digs for a badger; or

(d) he uses for the purpose of killing or taking a badger any firearm other than a smooth bore weapon of not less than 20 bore or a rifle using ammunition having a muzzle energy not less than 160 footpounds and a bullet weighing not less than 38 grains.

(2) If in any proceedings for an offence under subsection (1)(c) above there is evidence from which it could reasonably be concluded that at the material time the accused was digging for a badger he shall be presumed to have been digging for a badger unless the contrary is shown.

S-3 Interfering with badger setts.

3 Interfering with badger setts.

3. A person is guilty of an offence if, except as permitted by or under this Act, he interferes with a badger sett by doing any of the following things—

(a) damaging a badger sett or any part of it;

(b) destroying a badger sett;

(c) obstructing access to, or any entrance of, a badger sett;

(d) causing a dog to enter a badger sett; or

(e) disturbing a badger when it is occupying a badger sett,

intending to do any of those things or being reckless as to whether his actions would have any of those consequences.

S-4 Selling and possession of live badgers.

4 Selling and possession of live badgers.

4. A person is guilty of an offence if, except as permitted by or under this Act, he sells a live badger or offers one for sale or has a live badger in his possession or under his control.

S-5 Marking and ringing.

5 Marking and ringing.

5. A person is guilty of an offence if, except as authorised by a licence under section 10 below, he marks, or attaches any ring, tag or other marking device to, a badger other than one which is lawfully in his possession by virtue of such a licence.

Exceptions and licences

Exceptions and licences

S-6 General exceptions.

6 General exceptions.

6. A person is not guilty of an offence under this Act by reason only of—

(a) taking or attempting to take a badger which has been disabled otherwise than by his act and is taken or to be taken solely for the purpose of tending it;

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

(c) unavoidably killing or injuring a badger as an incidental result of a lawful action;

(d)doing anything which is authorised under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986.
S-7 Exceptions from s. 1.

7 Exceptions from s. 1.

(1) Subject to subsection (2) below, a person is not guilty of an offence under section 1(1) above by reason of—

(a) killing or taking, or attempting to kill or take, a badger; or

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

if he shows that his action was necessary for the purpose of preventing serious damage to land, crops, poultry or any other form of property.

(2) The defence provided by subsection (1) above does not apply in relation to any action taken at any time if it had become apparent, before that time, that the action would prove necessary for the purpose there mentioned and either—

(a) a licence under section 10 below authorising that action had not been applied for as soon as reasonably practicable after that fact had become apparent; or

(b) an application for such a licence had been determined.

S-8 Exceptions from s. 3.

8 Exceptions from s. 3.

(1) Subject to subsection (2) below, a person is not guilty of an offence under section 3 above if he shows that his action was necessary for the purpose of preventing serious damage to land, crops, poultry or any other form of property.

(2) Subsection (2) of section 7 above applies to the defence in subsection (1) above as it applies to the defence in subsection (1) of that section.

(3) A person is not guilty of an offence under section 3(a), (c) or (e) above if he shows that his action was the incidental result of a lawful operation and could not reasonably have been avoided.

(4) A person is not guilty of an offence under section 3(a), (c) or (e) above by reason of obstructing any entrance of a badger sett for the purpose of hunting foxes with hounds if he—

(a) takes no action other than obstructing such entrances;

(b) does not dig into the tops or sides of the entrances;

(c) complies with subsection (5) below as to the materials used for obstructing the entrances and with subsection (6) below as to how and when they are to be placed and removed; and

(d) is acting with the authority of the owner or occupier of the land and the authority of a recognised Hunt.

(5) The materials used shall be only—

(a) untainted straw or hay, or leaf-litter, bracken or loose soil; or

(b) a bundle of sticks or faggots, or paper sacks either empty or filled with untainted straw or hay or leaf-litter, bracken or loose soil.

(6) The materials shall not be packed hard into the entrances and—

(a) if they are of the kind mentioned in paragraph (a) of subsection (5) above, they shall not be placed in the entrances except on the day of the hunt or after midday on the preceding day;

(b) if they are of the kind mentioned in paragraph (b) of that subsection, they shall not be placed in the entrances except on the day of the hunt and shall be removed on the same day.

(7) A person is not guilty of an offence under section 3(a), (c) or (e) above by reason of his hounds marking at a badger sett provided they are withdrawn as soon as reasonably practicable.

(8) Each recognised Hunt shall keep a register of the persons authorised to act under subsection (4) above.

(9) In this section ‘recognised Hunt’ means a Hunt recognised by the Masters of Fox Hounds Association, the Association of Masters of Harriers and Beagles or the Central Committee of Fell Packs.

S-9 Exceptions from s. 4.

9 Exceptions from s. 4.

9. A person is not guilty of an offence under section 4 above by reason of having a live badger in his possession or under his control if—

(a) it is in his possession or under his control, as the case may be, in the course of his business as a carrier; or

(b) it has been disabled otherwise than by his act and taken by him solely for the purpose of tending it and it is necessary for that purpose for it to remain in his possession or under his control, as the case may be.

S-10 Licences.

10 Licences.

(1) A licence may be granted to any person by the appropriate Conservancy Council authorising him, notwithstanding anything in the foregoing provisions of this Act, but subject to compliance with any conditions specified in the licence—

(a) for scientific or educational purposes or for the conservation of badgers—

(i) to kill or take, within an...

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