HL Deb 20 March 1980 vol 407 cc437-8

Lord HOUGHTON of SOWERBY asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether it is true that Avon Highway officials put"rags soaked in creosote"in badger setts under the M.5 slipway near Clevedon as reported in the Daily Express of 2Ist February 1980 as a means of evicting these animals from their setts; and, if so, whether this method of ridding a motorway of badger setts is standard procedure as being the most humane way of carrying out this operation.


The Daily Express report was incorrect. Badgers have established a sett under the M.5 southbound slip road at the Clevedon interchange and several animals have already been killed by motorway traffic. Avon County Council, as agents for the Minister of Transport, have consulted the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food as well as naturalists on possible methods of encouraging the badgers to move to a more suitable site to avoid any lasting damage to the slip road and reduce casualties. The council have been advised that a commonly recognised method is to stop the entrances to the sett when the cubs have been weaned by placing rags in the entries soaked in a chemical repellent such as creosote, Animoil or Raynardine. The council are waiting until any cubs which may be in the sett are weaned before taking action. Should this fail a local naturalist has offered to catch the badgers and move them to a more suitable location.