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.


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.


The Northern Ireland Environment Agency is responsible for implementing the Wildlife legislation and can offer advice or guidance to anyone planning to undertake any activity which may result in the disturbance of badgers or their setts.


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


Further information on wildlife law in Northern Ireland can be found in The Wildlife Law and You


Call 101 to report suspected wildlife crime


Download Badger Persecution Report Northern Ireland 2015