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The Kirklees Badger Protection Group was formed in 1988. Over 20 years later, the aims of the group remain the same:
• To encourage the understanding and study of badgers.
• To promote measures which will enhance their welfare.
• To encourage tolerance, appreciation and respect for all wildlife and their habitat.
We are members of the Badger Trust, which represents us at national level and is a central organisation for information and research.
The main threats to badgers in our area are:
• Road traffic accidents
• Loss of habitat caused by development
• Badger diggers and baiters
To make us as effective as possible in counteracting these threats, Kirklees Badger Protection Group works closely with several organisations and individuals including:
• the police and the RSPCA with whom we work in cases of suspected illegal activity
• Natural England, who give licences to work on or near a badger sett in order to protect it
• Kirklees Metropolitan Council, with whom we have close links in connection with planning and forestry work.
Additionally, we have a good working relationship with landowners in the area. Local quarry owners have in particular benefited from our advice and expertise.
Our most important work involves protecting existing setts and building artificial setts where necessary (for example, in order to relocate badgers from residential developments).
We record the location of, and monitor, as many setts as possible. Monitors visit a particular sett regularly and records the findings. These records may be used by the police in the event of a prosecution for interfering with the sett or harming badgers.
We are available to assist in the event of an injured badger being discovered, though sadly few animals survive a road traffic accident. We try to pick up fatally injured badgers from roadsides, and keep records of those discovered. Rescued live badgers are taken to the nearest available rescue centre for rehabilitation and hopefully release back into the wild.
Alongside the practical aspects of our work, we publicise the threats to the badger, both local and national and inform the general public about badgers.