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Badgers

Volume 483: debated on Tuesday 18 November 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what his policy is on the use of rodenators to control badgers. (236223)

Under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 it is prohibited to use any explosive other than ammunition for a firearm for the purpose of killing or taking any wild animal. My Department believes that the product called the Rodenator and similar devices are explosive devices and their use for these purposes is thus prohibited.

The 1981 Act includes provisions for the granting of licences allowing the use of prohibited methods for certain purposes where suitably justified. The assessment of individual applications would be carried out on DEFRA's behalf by Natural England within a policy framework set by DEFRA. DEFRA's policy is that licences should be considered only if it can be demonstrated to DEFRA's satisfaction that the method is humane and effective. DEFRA's position statement on Rodenator and similar devices can be found on our website.

Under the Protection of Badgers Act 1992 it is prohibited, without a licence, to wilfully take or kill a badger, or to interfere with a badger sett. Therefore a licence under the 1992 Act would also be needed to use the Rodenator to take or kill badgers, or to interfere with a badger sett. The assessment of individual applications is carried out on DEFRA's behalf by Natural England within a policy framework set by DEFRA. This policy document is also available on our website.