Information Hub

Please read this page before contacting us. You will likely find the information or advice you are seeking below. This information is provided free of charge and in good faith. It does not constitute expert, legal or professional guidance. We will not accept any liability (in negligence or otherwise) arising from any third party acting, or refraining from acting, on such information or advice. If you require expert, legal or professional guidance, we recommend that you engage the services of a suitably qualified specialist.

We hope you find these resources useful in helping you to protect badgers. If you'd like to do more, please consider joining our group for just £10 a year, or making a donation to support our work - contact us.

Badgers and the law

Badgers and the setts where they live are protected by law throughout Great Britain, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. The specific legislation that applies varies by region.

In Northern Ireland, badgers and their setts are protected under the Wildlife Order (Northern Ireland) 1985 as amended by the Wildlife and Natural Environment Act (Northern Ireland) 2011. It is a criminal offence to harm or disturb these animals, obstruct access to their place of refuge or destroy or damage anything which conceals or protects their place of refuge.

Badgers are also protected by the Welfare of Animals Act (Northern Ireland) 2011 which prohibits acts of cruelty such as badger baiting.

In Northern Ireland, the statutory body with responsibility for wildlife and the environment is the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA), an Executive Agency within the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA).

If you suspect a wildlife crime, report it to the police in the first instance by calling 101 (ask for a crime reference).

Please contact us, quoting the crime reference, to make us aware of the incident.


The Wildlife Law and You

PAW leaflet about badger persecution in Northern Ireland

PAW report on badger persecution in Northern Ireland

USPCA Badger baiting Report

Planning and development

Please note that the Northern Ireland Badger Group does not carry out surveys or provide any professional services.

Local councils are responsible for development planning, management and enforcement in Northern Ireland. Each council employs a Biodiversity Officer.

The badger (Meles meles) is a protected species listed on Schedule 5 of the Wildlife (Northern Ireland) Order 1985. Badgers, their setts, and access to their setts are protected at all times.

Anyone considering any activity that may result in disturbance to badgers or their setts, such as building works, should seek advice from the local Council Planning Office. We strongly recommend that developers commission a survey to assess the possibility of any direct or indirect threat to badgers on the immediate site or neighbouring lands/premises.


Free planning advice

Directory of qualified CIEEM ecological consultants

Wildlife Law and You

Environmental Advice for Planning

Planning Policy Statement 2 (PPS2)

Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)

Biodiversity Checklist

The Biodiversity Duty

Badgers and Development

Standing Advice Badgers

Survey Specifications

Council Planning Offices

Council Biodiversity Officers

Northern Ireland Environment Agency

Badgers visiting gardens

Badgers are surprisingly common visitors to domestic gardens, even in some urban areas. This activity is more prevalent in spring and autumn when hungry badgers dig for grubs and worms in the soil. Most people welcome badgers to their gardens but others are less than happy about the holes they can leave in their lawns. This situation can be challenging, as badgers are determined animals and extremely difficult to deter or exclude. The good news is that this behaviour tends to be temporary. We suggest scattering peanuts in a less sensitive area of the garden to provide a tasty and easily accessible distraction for the badger.

Check out this Badger Trust page for more information or contact your Local Council Biodiversity Officer.

Badgers and bovine TB (bTB)

The overwhelming evidence points to cattle to cattle transmission and cattle movements as the primary drivers of the persistence and spread of the disease. However, the extent of any badger to cattle transmission remains uncertain and contentious. 

The effectiveness of badger culling as a tool to reduce bTB in cattle remains inconclusive and hotly contested. Recent research has found that badger culling in England has had no effect in reducing bovine TB in cattle. Any reduction in bTB in England correlates strongly with the introduction of more effective cattle measures.

The Northern Ireland Badger Group remains strongly opposed to badger culling. Together with our partners Wild Justice, we successfully forestalled the latest attempt to cull badgers in Northern Ireland.

The USPCA and the badger group have published this booklet about badgers and bovine TB. We'd encourage anyone with an interest in this area to read the booklet.
Dispelling the myths: Why badgers aren't to blame for bovine TB.

More badger resources

Badger Trust

Scottish Badgers

Binfield Badger Group's educational resources