Police are urging anyone with a badger sett
on their land to get in touch with the Kirklees Badger Protection Group which will happily help and advise.
It happened in April when there would be young badgers in the sett
and, if successful, they would have been taken to sell on for baiting or used to train terriers to attack badgers, said prosecutor Peter Humphrey-Jones.
The soils at sett
locations were of low cohesivity, strongly fresh moisture and mezo-eutrophic fertility.
Crew commander Phil Ball said: "Boh had become trapped in the sett
with the rabbit wedged in its mouth.
Badger expert Elizabeth Lee visited the site several weeks after the incident and concluded it had been an active sett
in recent months.
On contaminated farms, an average 43 per cent of the setts
and 29 per cent of faeces were positive.
He said: "I'd also like to praise the actions of the member of the public who reported the sett
TWO men pleaded guilty to attempting to dig up badger setts
in the dead of night using dogs wearing underground tracking devices.
A court had earlier heard how a member of the public spotted the gang close to a known badger sett
in the North Yorkshire village of Hovingham on January 11 and immediately reported it to police.
This is mostly because they change their bedding materials often and dig shallow pits, or latrines, a short distance from their sett
. The favorite sites for their setts
are in timbered areas with pasture close by.
The badger is then pulled from the sett
and usually thrown to the dogs who kill it.
Kirklees Badger Protection Group works closely with organisations including the police and the RSPCA in cases of suspected illegal activity; Natural England, which issues licences to work on or near a badger sett
in order to protect it; and Kirklees Council in connection with planning and forestry work.