Police and High Peak wildlife groups are calling for the public’s help after an increase in countryside crime.
Members of the High Peak Badger Group have recorded five confirmed badger sett interference incidents recently, with one involving a sett being opened up twice and dogs put inside. A dead badger was left at the scene near the Wash, Chapel-en-le-Frith.
It is a terrible inhumane crime carrying high penalties.Brian Ashton, chairman of High Peak Badger Group
Group chairman Brian Ashton said: “Our members are vigilant in monitoring setts but there is a huge area of isolated country to cover and we need the public’s help to put a stop to this persecution.
“It is not only the badgers that are being harmed. This kind of crime is also linked to machinery theft, stock disturbance, and rustling by the offenders. They enter land at dawn or dusk with dogs which are put in the holes and then traced from above ground, before the trapped animals are then dug out.
“The badgers are then brutalised by dogs and, judging by the evidence we have found, by men assaulting them with spades or taken away for “sport”, elsewhere. It is a terrible inhumane crime carrying high penalties.”
A special meeting attended by Dominic Dyer of the Badger Trust, conservationist and TV presenter Chris Packham and local groups is taking place at the Leewood Hotel in Buxton next weekend to discuss the issues.
The group has been working closely with the Badger Trust, Derbyshire Wildlife Trust and Derbyshire police’s wildlife officers, but the public are being urged to report any relevant information to police on 101, or 999 if they see a crime taking place.
The badger group can be contacted on 01298 26957 or 01298 23449 day or night.