Anger over police stance on man who tried to poison badgers

By a County Press reporter

Saturday, March 15, 2014

 

POLICE have confirmed a 65-year-old man who admitted trying to poison badgers will not face a criminal charge.

The decision to allow the man to accept a conditional caution, which includes him paying for the costs of cleaning up the large amount of poison he laid outside badger setts on land off Boxers Lane on January 15, sparked outrage from the chairman of the IW Badger Trust.

Peter Bonnell said: "The recent decision by the police to give a conditional caution and grant anonymity to the 65-year-old man, who admitted laying the poison in and around 20 badger setts in Niton in January, has provoked incredulity and dismay among trust members and the public.

"Given that Mark Buggie, the Island’s RSPCA inspector, declared it to be the largest amount of poison he had ever seen, how serious does an offence under the Protection of Badgers Act 1992 have to be before criminal charges are faced?

"Leaving aside the deliberate cruelty caused to the badgers by this reckless act, it was only the fact it was quickly reported and acted upon by the RSPCA, who dug out all the contaminated soil, that potential injury to dogs and children using the footpath was avoided."

Mr Bonnell said the trust was raising the issue with chief constable Andy Marsh and Island MP Andrew Turner.

Maggie Hilton, from The Enchanted Manor boutique hotel in Niton, said she was sure some of her visiting badgers had been killed.

She said: "Only a couple are coming out now instead of the usual eight."

A police spokesman said: "We are satisfied that, in the circumstances, a conditional caution was the appropriate course of action and the case is now closed."

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