Police chief to launch nationwide operation against badger crime

 Operation Meles: a partnership supported by police, other enforcement agencies and voluntary badger groups aimed at gathering intelligence on badger persecution and targeting offenders.

The Badger Trust will launch a nationwide campaign next month with police backing to expose horrific crimes against badgers. The Trust is setting up meetings to take place at the same time on the same day in Glasgow for Scotland, Sheffield for England, and Belfast for Northern Ireland. The Trust has the support of the police-endorsed Operation Meles campaign.

Richard Crompton, Chief Constable of Lincolnshire, who leads on wildlife for the Association of Chief Police Officers will chair the England meeting on 20th September 2011 and deliver the keynote address.

There is a growing tide of badger crime across Britain, particularly in the north. South Yorkshire has been badly affected and the area’s badger group has just produced a new leaflet showing the gruesome results of baiting badgers with fierce dogs, hunting badgers with dogs, and deliberate cruelty in the Doncaster area. In the north of the country criminals have been roaming over farmland in off-road vehicles in pursuit of fleeing badgers and other wildlife, destroying valuable crops.

The Trust’s part in Operation Meles is led by:

Ian Hutchison, the Operation Meles UK Crime Prevention Lead and a former police officer, 01356 624851;

Mervyn Anthony the Trust director who leads on badger persecution in England, 0845 828 7878.

Badger group members involved are:

Monica Ward, chair of the South Yorkshire Badger Group which produced the leaflet on persecution in the Doncaster area, 07722 590 184;

Jean Thorpe, chair of the Ryedale badger Group who runs Ryedale Rehab to rescue and treat injured animals 01653 695124;

Sandra Dudley a director of the Badger Trust, 0845 828 7878;

Key professional support is being given by:

Geoff Edmond, National Wildlife Co-ordinator for the RSPCA, 0300 1234999;

Pc Gareth Jones, North YorkshirePolice, 0845 6060247.

Amanda Clayton, Wildlife Crime Officer for South Yorkshire Police, 01142 202020

The Badger Trust’s annual conference last weekend (July 29-31) focused on wildlife crime and its links to badger persecution. The chairman, David Williams, said: “We are determined to make Britain aware of the scandal that wildlife crime is not being treated equally with the other serious criminal behaviour often exhibited by the type of person involved in the extermination of our wildlife. We are proud to be working alongside a range of such powerful national agencies”.

He added it was not often recognised that criminals pursuing wildlife were nearly always associated with crimes such as drug peddling, assault, intimidation, and extortion as well as international smuggling of protected species.

Pc Mark Rasbeary, Wildlife Crime Officer for North Yorkshire Police, told the conference that in fighting crime “best practice depends on best evidence” and he appealed to the public to report suspicious activity without hesitation. Mr Anthony emphasised that so far people had been looking only at the tip of the iceberg of wildlife crime, and Mr Edmond summed up: “Criminals are crossing boundaries – the boundaries between species and the boundaries between police authorities. The criminals involved in this national shame travel from all over the country and won’t give up unless they are stopped by agencies such as those mentioned above working together in a well-coordinated manner.”

 ~ Jack Reedy.

 Badger Trust is the only charity dedicated to the conservation of badgers throughout England,Wales and all Ireland.


Tel: 08458 287878

E-mail press@badgertrust.org.uk          www.badgertrust.org.uk

QCA note: Please don’t forget the crimes against English badgers threatened by DEFRA.

If you’ve not already done so, please sign the 38 Degrees petition – please remember that this active organisation was instrumental in persuading government to backtrack on the selling off of our forests:

The link is http://www.38degrees.org.uk/page/s/badgers-petition#petition

At the time of writing this, there are over 23,000 signatures on the petition,  but we need thousands more to have maximum impact. Please ask friends to sign up.

Also, the e-petition to Downing Street: