Badger baiting is the cruelest sport among the various
ways of persecuting badgers. This age-old cruelty continues
to this day despite being outlawed. Earlier a public
spectacle, today it remains a secret sport for many.
A description of the cruelty involved in baiting badgers
will make any heart bleed in pity for these pitiable
but marvelous creatures.
Badger baiting mainly exploits one of the inborn characteristics
of this animal. Once they are instigated into an encounter,
badgers have a natural tendency to endure all injuries
and cruelty and remain fighting till the end. This unique
quality of this poor animal provides an interesting
ground for the cruel sport of badger baiting.
Initially, a badger is partially disabled by striking
over its head with a spade. In other cases, the jaws
of the animal may be broken or the legs may be chained.
After this, the badger is left inside a makeshift arena
or a baiting pit. Inside the pit, one or more dogs are
set upon the badger and are continuously goaded from
above to attack the injured badger.
A badger has long front claws and fearsome jaws to
defend or deal with the attackers. However, it is highly
protective of its head and prefers to guard its head
in between its fore legs. In defending itself from the
attacking dogs, the badger invariably attacks from time
to time. In this process, the badger rushes upward sweeping
its head, with its jaws locking onto the lower jaws
of the nearby dog. However, the dogs continuously attack
the badger by biting it around the head and shaking
the animal in between their jaws like a soft toy.
During the fight, both the badger and the dogs suffer
horrible injuries. However, the owners of the dogs do
not take the dogs to the vets for the fear of getting
caught for this cruel sport. Either they treat them
by themselves or put them down. At the crucial point
when the badger can no more endure the fight, the game
comes to an end and the badger is killed by inflicting
continuous blows on its head with a spade or by stabbing
Often, the baiters make good money from baiting by
way of inviting those who would bet on the session,
as it is done in dogfights. Since quite a many of baiters
are personally involved or connected with dog fighting,
they have well trained dogs to employ in badger baiting
too. Despite quite a many wondering how the cruel baiters
are able to enjoy a heinous crime, the cruel sport still
continues in secrecy.