Badger Baiting

Badger baiting is a horrific ‘blood-sport’ and premeditated cruelty at its very worst, causing unthinkable suffering to not only the targeted badgers but also to the dogs forced to engage in this activity.

This form of badger persecution often involves individuals trespassing on rural land where badger setts are known to be located. These individuals are often involved in other criminal activities, with badger baiting being a sickening weekend hobby. Often small terrier-type dogs with trackers fixed to their neck are sent down badger setts to locate badgers. Once these dogs encounter a badger the baiters dig down, exposing the badgers which are then dragged above ground and set upon by a group of larger, vicious dogs.

Badger baiting causes unthinkable suffering to the animals involved. Despite being protected under law, year on year, hundreds of our native badgers are mercilessly hunted and killed during badger baiting season. The dogs employed in this activity also endure grave suffering, with lower jaws commonly rent asunder. Other flesh wounds are crudely stitched together without any veterinary expertise and dogs that fail to meet the expectations of their owner are themselves slaughtered without mercy. 

Please follow our advice regarding badger baiters:

  • Do not approach the people involved, draw attention to yourself or put yourself in danger.
  • If possible, record the numbers involved and their precise locality.
  • Are dogs being used?
  • Note the registration number, colour, make and model of vehicles.

BBC Spotlight ‘Exposed: Hunting With Dogs

Last year, the USPCA played a vital role in the making of the BBC Spotlight Programme ‘Exposed Hunting with Dogs’. The programme investigated hunters who use dogs to track and kill wild animals. We are pleased to have supported and informed this program through the work of our Special Investigations Unit.

We thank the Spotlight team for shining a light on this cruel and widespread practice here in Northern Ireland and beyond which is causing unthinkable suffering to innocent animals and deceiving unsuspecting members of the public. You can watch the programme on catch up by clicking here - WATCH NOW.

Operation Brockwatch

The USPCA and the Northern Ireland Badger Group launched the joint initiative 'Operation Brockwatch'  -  an effective rural partnership which collaborates with landowners and the PSNI. 

The strategy aims to protect our badger population, their setts, and the many dogs wantonly sacrificed in badger persecution, a vile activity that stains our rural landscape. The setts, identified as vulnerable, have been relentlessly targeted by badger baiters in the past are now monitored on a 24/7 basis using modern technology. To date, Operation Brockwatch has seen the successful protection of six well-established badger setts during its pilot in year one, with its operations doubled for the successful protection of 12 setts in year two. We look forward to this initiative expanding in the years ahead.

We urge the public to be vigilant and report any suspicious activity in the vicinity of a badger sett immediately.


Report Badger Baiting