A network of dedicated wildlife lovers have officially launched a ‘Badger Watch’ scheme to detect and deter wildlife crime against badgers.
Badger setts across the county of Dorset will be regularly checked for interference during daytime walks, and at night a covert watch will be kept from a distance using sophisticated night-vision equipment.
The groups will work within the law to assist the police to prevent wildlife crime and to help the police to prevent and prosecute those who harm Dorset’s wild animals. Volunteers drawn from members of Dorset for Badger and Bovine Welfare will provide intelligence to local Wildlife Crime Officers in a similar way to that of the Neighbourhood Watch scheme.
Badgers are fully protected in the UK by the Protection of Badgers Act, 1992, and the Wildlife and Countryside Act, 1981. 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.
Since the government’s unscientific and ill thought out badger cull trials, incidents of persecution against badgers and other wildlife, especially here in Dorset, has been on the increase and Badger Watch aims to counteract this.
Spokesperson Chris Kemp says;
“The Badger Watch scheme aims to prevent those criminals who seek to harm our wildlife from escaping justice. We have a network of experienced volunteers, veterans of the protest against the badger cull, ready to assist police in stamping out this vile activity. Our message to those who might consider engaging in wildlife crime is to think carefully, you may be being watched covertly and the police arriving may be the first you know about it!”
Lots of ‘Badger Watch Area’ stickers have been appearing all over Dorset already and even parts of Somerset. If you see one please send us a photo!
The Badger Watch sticker uses the main graphic from our Dorset for Badger and Bovine Welfare logo designed by local Graphic Designer Stu Jones and has even featured in the V&A exhibition of ‘Disobedient Objects’ – art and design produced by grassroots social movements.
Anyone wishing to know more or volunteer to help, please contact Dorset for Badger and Bovine Welfare (we are allied with Brian May’s Team Badger and the South West Alliance for Badgers).
If you’d like some of these stickers for your area please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will send you the artwork and printing details or may be able to arrange to post some to you or you can collect from us. (Please do not stick them on the front of road or street signs, or on private property without permission).
Thank you to everyone who’s already keeping an eye on their local setts and reporting any criminal activity to their Wildlife Crime Officer.
If you see a wildlife crime in action dial 999, if it has already happened dial 101.
This website has a handy guide to recognising crime, recording and reporting: http://birdersagainst.org/badgers
The RSPCA helpline is 0300 1234 999.