Badger Baiting Evidence man beaten up!

The BBC are reporting the worrying news that a Northern Ireland man has been very badly beaten up because he passed information about their badger baiting activities to the authorities. See the following BBC news story for more details:

As a badger specialist, I’m acutely aware of the risks getting involved monitoring badger baiting activities and being seen to report this to the Police and others. Badger baiters are some of the most violent criminal scum in the country – many of whom has criminal records for violence. Importantly, such violence is not always limited to violence against other gang members or people who “grass them up”. Some badger baiters have convictions for family-related violence against wives and girlfriends; so they are not nice people to live or work with either.

If you are involved in wildlife protection or monitoring, it’s worth taking some time to think about what the risks are if you monitor badger setts, birds nests and the habitats of other protected species. Of course, you might have a fall or a trip; so you need to tell someone where you are going and when you are due back so they know to get help if you don’t get back at the agreed time. But, what about the electronic trail many people leave on social/networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Think about it for a minute! If a badger baiter or an egg collector went to prison because of the evidence you gave, could they find you? What information can they find out by looking you up on Twitter or Facebook? Can they find out your home address or where you work? Can they find out what you look like or what car you drive or where your children live? Are you being a bit “careless” with your Facebook privacy settings. As a test, try Googling yourself to see what a badger baiter could find out about you – it might be a lot more than you realise!

The good news about monitoring badger baiters is that there is now some VERY sophisticated technology available which can get reliable evidence without the need to risk human involvement. It is possible to use soil samples to prove that a badger digger was at a specific crime scene. It is possible to show that a single animal hair in his van or 4*4 comes from a badger and that the badger lived in the sett which was dug. Most importantly, modern CCTV cameras are so tiny they can be concealed to make them totally invisible. They record excellent quality audio and daylight/night-vision video; and beam the information via a wireless link to a computer using internet technology.

In past years, badger baiters have been able to rely on crimes going undetected in the remote country areas. Modern technology is becoming cheaper to install and more reliable; which makes it more likely that badger baiters will be caught and convicted. They need to remember that you can’t intimidate a covert CCTV camera or a forensics lab not to give evidence against you!

Simon Flory

Badger Specialist

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.