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Protection of Badgers Act 1992

Volume 498: debated on Monday 2 November 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many licences were issued under the Protection of Badgers Act 1992 in each local authority area in each of the last three years. [R] (296559)

Policy on wildlife management issues is a devolved matter, therefore this answer relates to England only.

Natural England has issued all licences under the Protection of Badgers Act 1992 since it was formed in October 2006. This information is not recorded by local authority area but has been recorded by Government office area since mid-2007. This information is set out below for each year since 2007.

Government office area

2007

2008

2009 (January-end September)

East of England

73

90

40

East Midlands

76

118

76

London

4

10

5

North East

15

17

7

North West

38

54

57

South East

130

141

84

South West

253

244

223

West Midlands

93

134

81

Yorkshire and the Humber

42

68

42

Area not recorded

301

0

0

Total

1,025

876

615

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in what circumstances a licence under the Protection of Badgers Act 1992 may be issued; and if he will make a statement. [R] (296560)

Policy on wildlife management issues is a devolved matter, therefore this answer relates to England only.

The purposes for which a licence can be issued are set out in the Protection of Badgers Act 1992. All applications are determined on a case-by-case basis and would normally be expected to meet the following criteria:

There is a genuine problem to resolve or there is a need to satisfy for which a licensing purpose is applicable;

There are no satisfactory alternatives;

The licensed action will contribute to resolving the problem or meeting the need;

The action to be licensed is proportionate to the scale of the problem or need, and;

The licensed action will not have an adverse effect on the favourable conservation status of any habitat type or species within its natural range.

In addition all licence applications are subject to a disease risk assessment.

The Government’s policy remains that licences will not be issued for culling badgers to prevent the spread of bovine TB in England—we remain open to revisiting this policy in exceptional circumstances or if new scientific evidence becomes available.