Police in Omagh have received reports of suspicious activity in an area close to a badger sett.
Inspector Scott Fallis said police always take such reports very seriously, and would be keen for any members of the public aware of badger setts to report any suspicious activity.
He added: “The badger is a legally protected animal and it is an offence to kill, injure/take a badger, possess or control a live or dead badger. More relevant to the most recent report is that it is an offence to damage, destroy or obstruct access to a sett, damage or destroy anything concealing a sett (for example bushes), or disturb a badger in a sett.
“Whether these actions are intentional or merely reckless it remains an offence, and one which the PSNI will investigate and gather evidence with a view to prosecution. The addition of ‘reckless acts’ in the legislation does away with the defence that it was thought there was a non-protected species in the sett, for example a fox. Ignorance is no excuse!”
PSNI wildlife liaison officer, Emma Meredith, added: “The PSNI take wildlife crime very seriously and if someone is caught the police will report them to the Public Prosecution Service with a view to a prosecution.”