Page last updated at 14:13 GMT, Wednesday, 21 May 2008 15:13 UK

Warning over badger sett attacks

Badger setts in East Lincolnshire are being attacked, according to police.

Wildlife crime officer Pc Nigel Lound said two reports of suspicious activity in the Alford area near badger setts had been received in the past month.

In the first incident, five men, who travelled in two vehicles were seen carrying spades close to a known sett.

In the second a group of men with dogs was seen in the Alford area, suspected of digging for badgers. Anyone with information is asked to contact police.

An investigation into both incidents is ongoing.

'Horrific activities'

"Many people know the locations of setts and tend to keep them quiet which is good. Doing this allows the setts to remain unidentified, escaping the attentions of diggers," said Pc Lound.

"Badger baiting has to be one of the most horrific activities where wild animal and dog are pitched together to fight, invariably to the death.

"The practice is deplorable and cruel to both the badger and dog and we need to put a stop to it."

Under the Protection of Badgers Act 1992 it is illegal to kill badgers and damage their setts, even when not occupied. Hunting badgers with dogs is also illegal.

The maximum sentence is six months imprisonment and a 5,000 fine.

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