Badgers are several species of medium sized mustelid carnivores, the Eurasian badger (Meles meles), the North American badger, both grey with striped black and white heads, and the Honey badger or Ratel of Africa.
In the United Kingdom badgers are commonly blamed by farmers for spreading bovine tuberculosis, although the disease is generally spread by uncontrolled livestock movements. Nevertheless, the current Conservative government has given culling licences and a programme of culling has begun.
Badger hairs were sought after for making shaving-brushes, a practise that has ceased in many parts of the world due to the dwindling badger population. Badger hair shaving brushes now have something of an heirloom quality about them as commercially farming and shaving badgers has failed because they are not social animals and tend to aggression when in captivity.
Badgers in the Bible
And he made a covering for the tent of rams' skins dyed red, and a covering of badgers' skins above that. Exodus 36:19, (KJV)
(Some versions of the Bible (e.g. the NIV) state here that the hides of sirenians were used however.)