Badger Trust to appeal court ruling on cull after losing challenge
Wildlife campaigners have launched a new legal bid to quash the Government's decision to cull badgers in England.
Earlier this week the High Court threw out a Badger Trust challenge against Defra plans for a trial cull in two South West bovine TB hotspots this autumn.
The pilot culls on Exmoor and near Tewkesbury, will involve shooting free-running badgers by trained marksmen, organised by supervised and licensed farmer groups.
Farmers believe culling is necessary to rid their herds of bovine TB which has a devastating effect on business.
In the wake of the High Court outcome, the trust has lodged an application to appeal against Mr Justice Ouseley's decision.
According to the charity it is seeking permission to appeal on three grounds.
The first is that Mr Justice Ouseley was wrong to use a section of the Protection of Badgers Act 1992 used to grant licences for mass badger culling in order to reduce the spread of the disease marginally, because it would prompt rather than prevent the spread of disease within an area.
Campaigners said a judicial review hearing in June, it was accepted culling will spread the disease and after nine years of culling only a marginal slowdown in the rate of new TB cases would occur.
Secondly, the trust says the judge made a mistake in rejecting its arguments on what it claims are "flawed cost-impact assessment underpinning Defra's culling decision".
Lastly, it claims the judge was wrong to accept Defra's Guidance to Natural England was lawfully made – the trust claims it was not.
Trust spokesman Jack Reed said: "The decision to take further court action had not been taken lightly. It underlines the trust's strong belief that the Government's proposals to kill badgers in England are likely to do more harm than good."