Press Release: Farmers fined for gassing badger setts


Badger Trust logoBADGER TRUST
4 November 2013

Somerset Badger Group gave written expert witness testimony in a Yeovil case when a father and son were fined £1,370 each [1] after pleading guilty to blocking badger setts on their farm and piping car exhaust fumes into them in an attempt to kill the animals inside. They said their actions were the result of finding a sick badger on their land and fearing the animal could pass bovine TB to their dairy herd, which had previously been affected by the disease. The 800-acre farm has more than 20 active badger setts.

Adrian Coward, chairman of the badger group said: “Cases like this are the tip of an iceberg, but at least the accused had admitted the offence. A member of the public noticed suspicious behaviour, spoke to the culprits and was prepared to stand up for badgers”. Mr Coward added that he had revisited the sett afterwards and found that the badgers had reopened two entrances. “Fortunately it appears that not all the social group were lost and it shows the futility of gassing badger setts”.

David Merton Raymond Bown, 67, of Batcombe in Shepton Mallet, and his son Philip Andrew Bown, 38, of Henley Grove, Bruton pleaded guilty at Yeovil Magistrates’ Court to offences under the Protection of Badgers Act. They had blocked the 17 entrances to a sett on Batcombe Vale Farm, before running a hosepipe from the exhaust of their Land Rover to one of the entrances in an attempt to kill the badgers.

The RSPCA was alerted in April to the men behaving suspiciously. An RSPCA inspector, police and ecological experts examined the badger sett area and found clear evidence of badgers living there.

[1] October 31st 2013

Jack Reedy
01564 783129