10. Wildlife control and management


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Badger problems: Use of electric fencing to prevent agricultural damage (TIN027)
The European badger (Meles meles) is widely distributed throughout mainland Britain which now supports some of the highest densities of badgers in Europe. Unfortunately, certain aspects of badger behaviour can cause problems for agriculture. In most cases, these are primarily of nuisance value. However, under some circumstances badgers can cause serious damage and in these situations, management action may be necessary. Natural England, TIN027, 5 November 2007.
Badgers: Problems with badgers in rural areas (TIN005)
Great Britain supports some of the highest densities of badgers Meles meles in Europe, with over 30 per square kilometre in some areas. National surveys carried out in the 1980s and 1990s showed that the population increased by 77% over this period. It is therefore not surprising that problems do sometimes occur. These can range from damage to agricultural land or crops, to undermining farm buildings or flood defences. The excavation of setts under roads and railways can be a risk to vehicles and human safety. Equally, normal agricultural, forestry or flood defence operations can sometimes have an impact on badger setts. Badgers are afforded legal protection, and penalties for offences can involve heavy fines or a prison sentence, so it is important that anyone working in the countryside is aware of how to work within the legislation. Natural England, TIN005, 4 September 2007.
Bird Scarers Code of Practice
Bird scarers & bird deterrents are essential to protect many crops from damage by wild birds. However, if used thoughtlessly they can seriously annoy & disturb the public, thus fuelling the pressure for stricter legal controls. This Code of Practice is designed to promote practices which minimise public nuisance. NFU, 2009.
Birds: Problems on livestock units (TIN031)
Livestock units often attract large numbers of wild birds. Before taking action to resolve the problem, it is recommended that a risk assessment be undertaken that considers the impacts. This note provides further information on the subject. Natural England, TIN031, 16 November 2007.
Bullfinches: Preventing damage to fruit (TIN032)
The overall population of bullfinches has declined since the 1970s and this has led to concerns regarding the status of this species. A Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) has been implemented in the UK to support its recovery and this includes the target to: Promote the bullfinch as a species in need of conservation assistance. However, bullfinches can inflict serious damage on commercial fruit crops by eating the buds of orchard trees and bushes. This information note provides guidance on how damage can be minimised. Natural England, TIN032, 17 May 2010.
Canada Geese - A Guide to Legal Control Measures
Canada geese are not native to the United Kingdom but their distribution is now widespread. The increased numbers are causing problems. This leaflet explains the background, the problem and legal obligations. Prepared by BASC with the approval of Defra, based on information prepared by the Department of the Environment Canada Goose Working Group, revised June 2004.
Controlling grey squirrel damage to woodlands (FCPN4)
A Forestry Commission Practice Note about the damage grey squirrels can cause to trees and woodland and methods of control, including live trapping, poisoning and tunnel trapping. Forestry Commission, FCPN004, April 2004.
Deer: Managing deer in the countryside (FCPN6)
A document about managing deer in the countryside including the need to manage deer, recognising deer damage, comparisons with other animals, deer management principles and methods and identification. Forestry Commission , FCPN006, July 1999.
Deer: Recommendations for fallow, roe & muntjac deer fencing: new proposals for temporary & re-usable fencing (FCPN9)
A Practice Note about fencing for managing fallow, roe and muntjac deer. Includes specification for fencing and behaviour of deer at fences. Forestry Commission, FCPN009, September 1999.
Fox Snaring Code
It is the responsibility of all those involved in fox control to ensure their methods are legal, humane and carried out with sensitivity and respect for other countryside users. Snaring is subject to legal restrictions and when properly practised is an effective and humane form of fox control. BASC, undated.
Foxes - The red fox in rural areas (SIN004)
A Natural England Species Information Note (SIN) about the red fox including its biology and behaviour, problems with foxes, management options and legal aspects. (Note: previously published as Defra RDS, TAN43). Natural England, SIN004, September 2007.
Foxes - Urban (SIN003)
The adaptable nature of the red fox (Vulpes vulpes) has made it a very successful resident of many British towns. Although people often enjoy seeing foxes around their homes or in parkland, foxes can cause significant damage and nuisance. (Note: Formerly published as Defra, TAN08). Natural England, SIN003, July 2007.
Foxes: Living with Urban Foxes
The aim of this booklet is to explain the types of problems that can be caused by urban foxes; put the extent of the problem into perspective; and give some practical advice on how to alleviate or possibly eliminate any such problems. You can then decide on how much time and energy you wish to invest relative to the scale of the problem. CIEH, January 2003.
Gassing of Rabbits and Vertebrate Pests (HSE AIS22)
This information sheet outlines the steps to be taken under the COSHH Regulations 1999 to assess the risks when using moisture-activated gassing compounds for vertebrate pest control in open areas and decide what precautions are necessary in your circumstances. HSE, AIS22, January 2007.
Geese - Management of Brent Geese (WCA25 & WCA26)
This resource provides access to two Defra leaflets on Brent Geese. The first is the Code of Practice for licensed shooting and the second is a guide to managing damage caused by these birds. Defra, WCA 25 & WCA 26, 2001.
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