Farmer guilty of pumping slurry into badger sett

A FARMER has been sentenced by Scarborough Magistrates Court after he pumped 5,000 gallons of slurry into a badger sett.

Malcolm Brian Foster, of Grange Farm, Bulmer, near Malton, was found guilty of recklessly damaging an active badger sett by magistrates on Thursday.

He was fined £500 with a £15 victim surcharge and £700 costs.

The one day trial at Scarborough Magistrates Court heard how Foster, a tenant cattle farmer on land which is part of the Castle Howard estate, pumped the liquid cattle slurry into an active badger sett at Northfield Farm, Bulmer, in March.

The court heard how Malton-based PC Jez Walmsley, the district’s Wildlife Crime Officer, visited the farm with badger expert Jean Thorpe after a tip-off from a member of the public.

The badger sett previously known by Mrs Thorpe, of Ryedale Badger Group, was completely filled with cattle slurry and had spilled out into the adjacent agricultural fields.

“Badgers give birth in February and in March and this large badger sett would have held badger cubs below ground,” said Mrs Thorpe. “Badgers in this sett will have died from drowning or suffocation as the slurry was pumped under pressure into this obvious active sett.”

A spokesman for North Yorkshire Police said: “This was a very callous and heartless act of cruelty to these protected animals who will have died a horrible death. The court’s punishment reflects the seriousness of this distressing act. Those who persecute badgers should remember that it remains illegal to kill badgers in North Yorkshire.”

The first licence for a cull of badgers to control Bovine TB has been granted for an area of West Gloucestershire.

It is a strictly controlled cull and is carried out by licensed marksmen and is being monitored by both DEFRA and Gloucestershire Police.

There have been no other licences issued for any other part of the UK and badgers in the rest of the UK remain protected under the Protection of Badgers Act 1992.

The police spokesman added: “The cull does not allow anyone, unless licensed, to kill badgers and any offences will be dealt with by the Wildlife Unit of North Yorkshire Police.”


4 Replies to “Farmer guilty of pumping slurry into badger sett”

  1. The court’s punishment reflects the seriousness of this callous act, does it ?
    Rubbish….this useless twat will whine about having to pay a fine but will have learned nothing and neither will perpetrators of equally horrific acts, unless they are thrown in jail where they can reflect and endure a little of the suffering they are so happy to inflict on OUR wildlife.

    1. Perhaps, but it’s not OUR wildlife – we humans hold no dominion over other life forms, but we do have responsibility and this is a terrible breech of trust

      1. Edna

        Of course humans ‘hold no dominion’ over other life forms. In this context however where the subject is the seemingly common view by the owners of the land where these poor creatures live, that they do indeed ‘own’ them, and as such can treat them any way they like!
        I was merely pointing out my own (and many others)view that they are as much ours as theirs and though using the term ‘ours’ it was meant in a soft way and not definitive.
        Possibly poor choice of word but getting into semantics in these sorts of cases is unhelpful.
        Most people understand this.

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