Company director fined over £9,000 for damaging badger

None of the measures described in the badger protection plan have been put into practice.

Bruce Allan, of Kintore and director of Malcolm Allan Housebuilders, was sentenced at Aberdeen Sheriff Court after pleading guilty to an offense under the Badger Protection Act at Milltimber in June 2020.

The court heard Malcolm Allan Housebuilders bought the Contlaw Road site in December 2019.

With the sale came an information pack containing reports from the site, including a badger protection plan.

Reports showed that the site had an active social clan of badgers residing in the area with a variety of badger sett types, including main sett, appendix sett and a variety of outlier setts, foraging activity and well-worn badger trails.

The protection plan provided that a 30 meter exclusion zone had been created to protect the badgers from any construction work.

Allan was aware of this when on June 26, 2020, he asked a backhoe driver to dig and clear land to build a road.

None of the measures described in the badger protection plan have been put into practice.

Various members of the public called the company several times before work began to express their concerns about the proximity of Setts to where work was beginning. A resident even notified Allan and the digger driver of the presence of badgers just before work began that day.

An ecologist has concluded that two-thirds of the main set and the annex set have been excavated and removed.

The main sett is where the young are raised with the annex setts for the youngsters of the last year. A litter will have between one and 12 pups and at the time of the year this infraction occurred, two litters of young would be present.

Speaking after the sentencing, Karon Rollo, Head of COPFS Wildlife and Environmental Crime Unit, said: “The law protects badgers from harm.

“Bruce Allan’s actions were carried out deliberately, without regard to the consequences they would have for a protected species and the anger and outrage of the local community.

“Hopefully this lawsuit will remind other builders and developers that they will be held accountable for their breach of duty.”

The impact of disturbing badgers in this scenario is the dispersal of a family group. They are then put under pressure to find new territory and brought into territorial conflict with other badger clans with the immediate danger if present when the sett is damaged. This is because there is a social clan in this area of ​​NE Scotland approximately every 750m.