A civil suit will be filed against a man who was photographed clubbing a badger nearly to death in a field in Alken, Limburg.
In Belgium, the badger is an unconditionally protected species and can therefore never be hunted or abused. Badgers have had legal protection in national and regional law since 1973. The species was initially protected by not opening the hunting season, but is now fully protected throughout the country.
The Flemish organisation for bird protection, Vogelbescherming Vlaanderen vzw, says it will be filing a civil suit against the man, who was identified and questioned by both the Borgloon police and the Nature Inspectorate of the Agency for Nature and Forests (ANB) last Thursday.
A hiker witnessed the man beating the badger “half dead,” and took photos before taking the badly injured animal to the Nature Conservation Centre in Oudsbergen.
The animal suffered a severe skull fracture and later died.
“As the wildlife lawyer, we will defend the interests of this badger in court,” said Vogelbescherming. “Such serious crimes cannot go unpunished.”
In the event of a conviction, they say, the district commissioner will be informed by the public prosecutor and withdraw the hunting permit of the person concerned, if they have one.
“Together with all other nature and animal lovers, we thank the hiker for his sense of responsibility and promise to do everything in our power to bring the perpetrator to justice.”
The Brussels Times