As the leading voice for badgers in England and Wales, working to promote and enhance the welfare, conservation and protection of badgers, their setts and their habitats, we are aware of concerns raised by Lord Botham surrounding the RSPB manual reference relating to electric fencing and badgers*.
We would like to make it clear that a practice described in the manual is wholly unnecessary and could cause suffering. We have addressed this issue directly with the RSPB, which has assured us that they do not follow this practice, nor would wish anyone else to do so. We are therefore providing ongoing advice and guidance, including on changes to the manual in question.
Whilst Badger Trust is not responsible for the investigation of badger persecution – as that duty falls to the relevant licensing or enforcement agencies – it is a registered charity that campaigns for a better understanding, appreciation and overall protection of this all too often persecuted and misunderstood animal.
Any suspected or known offences committed against badgers (or indeed wildlife in general) should be reported to the police. We also ask that incidents are also reported to us using our Reporting Centre so that we can monitor and report on badger crime.
We thank Lord Botham for his concern for badgers; it is good to know that Meles meles have friends in high places. We look forward to his future support of our campaign work at this important time for badgers, given the ongoing badger cull.
Update: A revised manual has been issued by the RSPB following advice received from Badger Trust.
* We do not intend to describe this in detail, for obvious reasons.