Lord Patten – 2016 Parliamentary Question to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Lord Patten on 2016-04-11.

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their assessment of damage caused to the gardens of urban and rural householders by badgers in England.

Lord Gardiner of Kimble

Defra is not aware of any studies that quantify the extent of garden damage by badgers. Where serious damage is, or is likely to be, caused by badgers or their setts, there is provision within the legislation for action to be taken under licence. Garden damage due to foraging alone is not normally considered sufficiently serious to warrant the issue of a licence.

Natural England receives around 800 licence applications per year to interfere with badger setts. Of these, just over 50% relate to damage caused by badgers but not all involve residential properties or gardens. With regard to gardens, the usual action is to exclude badgers from the sett and proof the area against further damage. There is a presumption against licensing trapping and relocating badgers on disease and animal welfare grounds.