Date is set for hearing into Defra’s proposed badger culls
THE Badger Trust’s judicial review of Defra’s decision to allow badger culls to take place in England this autumn has been set for Monday, June 25 and Tuesday, June 26.
The case will be heard in the High Court in London, where the trust will ask the court to overturn Defra’s decision to sanction pilot culls in West Gloucestershire and West Somerset.
If the judge backs its case, the policy could be delayed, or even scuppered altogether.
The Badger Trust’s judicial review of the Welsh Assembly Government’s decision to cull badgers in north Pembrokeshire succeeded on all grounds in the Court of Appeal in 2010, initially delaying the policy, before the Welsh administration finally abandoned it this year.
The trust said it considered culling ‘would not prevent the spread of disease but rather make matters worse, at great cost to farmers, the taxpayer and badgers’.
Gwendolen Morgan of Bindmans LLP, the trust’s solicitor said: “We have identified some serious flaws in the way by which the Secretary of State reached her decision to cull badgers.
“Given Defra’s proposals come at an enormous cost to farmers, and threaten to prompt, rather than prevent the spread of disease, we hope this ill-conceived decision will be struck down by the court.”
At last week’s Beef Expo 2012 event in Malvern, NBA TB committee chairman and South West farmer Bill Harper was adamant the cull would still go ahead.
He described TB as a ‘fire which is spreading ever outwards’ and needed tackling from a range of angles.
Mr Harper said: “I bet money we will win the judicial review. We have learned from the Welsh and will not make the same mistakes as them.”
He said the next step was to investigate ways of ‘badger euthanasia’, the main one being to fill the setts with gas filled foam to eradicate the diseased animals.