Charity opposes decision for badger cull in England
The League Against Cruel Sports has condemned the decision made today at The Royal Courts of Justice to proceed with the Coalition Government’s proposed badger cull in England.
The Judge, Mr Justice Ouseley, today rejected the Badger Trust’s challenge, by Judicial Review, to the Government’s policy of allowing the culling of badgers In England. The proposal aims to halt the spread of bovine tuberculosis (TB) in cattle, over a period of nine years.
The main two grounds to the Badger Trust’s challenge - both rejected - were, firstly “that the Protection of Badgers Act 1992 does not empower the Secretary of State to do what she proposes in her policy” and secondly “that the Secretary of State failed to ascertain the full costs of the chosen option.”
Speaking today on behalf of the League Against Cruel Sports, Joe Duckworth, Chief Executive says: “We are extremely saddened and frustrated that, despite the lack of scientific evidence and welfare concerns raised, the decision has been made to still go ahead with such a barbaric and unnecessary procedure, one which will see thousands of badgers slaughtered.
“Today’s decision fails to recognise that badger culling is an unsupported approach to tackling bovine TB and one that will leave the majority of the TB problem present, even if it reaches its most optimistic targets.”
Permission for a Judicial Review into the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affair's (Defra) decision was granted following The Badger Trust’s legal challenge to the Coalition Government’s decision earlier this year. Following today’s outcome, The Badger Trust will have seven days to decide whether they wish to appeal the decision.
Joe Duckworth concludes: “The method of controlled shooting of badgers has never been tested and serious welfare concerns remain about such practices. The League and our other coalition partners remain committed to supporting The Badger Trust in seeking to ensure that the indiscriminate culling of badgers is not allowed to go ahead in England.”
Notes to Editors
The Government’s proposal is to pilot the badger cull in West Somerset and West Gloucestershire for one year to “test the effectiveness of, humaneness and safety of controlled shooting, also called pre-shooting, to contrast with cage-trapping, followed by shooting”.
After the first year test, the Government will “review the cost and benefit analysis in the trial areas to see if the scheme could be rolled out more widely”. Whatever the outcome of the pilot scheme, the cull is scheduled to continue in the pilot areas.
The League Against Cruel Sports is co-hosting two free public meetings, with our coalition partners, in Taunton on Friday 20th July and Tewksbury on Wednesday 25th July. The aim of both meetings is to call for public support against the proposed badger cull in England.
Please contact the League’s Press Office on 01483 524250 (24hrs) with any queries, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.