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Badger Trust returns to the High Court to continue their ”justice for the badgers” battle

Yesterday, 9th October 2014, the legal team representing Badger Trust returned to the Royal Courts of Justice to put their case to the Court of Appeal over the lack of independent expert monitoring of the results of the continued culling of badgers currently taking place in Somerset and Gloucestershire.   The appeal from the decision of the Administrative Court was heard before Lord Justice Davis, Lord Justice Christopher Clarke and Lord Justice Bean.  Permission to appeal had been granted on 11th September 2014 by the Vice President of the Civil Division of the Court of Appeal on the basis that the Badger Trust had a real prospect of success.

David Wolfe QC from Matrix Chambers and Jamie Potter of Bindmans LLP produced robust arguments regarding the Secretary of State’s promise that independent monitoring would be maintained while a roll out decision was in contemplation, which were put to the Court of Appeal with incisive questions from the three judges, and opposing arguments put by the Counsel appearing for DEFRA and Natural England.  The Trust considers independent monitoring of the pilots to be essential given the significance of a roll out decision, which could lead to badger culling in 40 new areas over the next four years.  Without such a Panel, there can be no proper independent assessment of the safety, effectiveness and humaneness of the culling operation, something that would be needed before any lawful decision could be taken to continue with further culls around the country.

As anticipated, judgment was not given at the hearing, but Lord Justice Davis indicated that it would be handed down without unnecessary delay.

Afterwards, Jeff Hayden, Finance Director and the Trust’s lead on Judicial Challenge, who was present with others on behalf of the charity commented: “Win or lose, the case was debated very thoroughly and the outcome is too close to call.  The Trust will continue to fight to prevent the unnecessary slaughter of thousands of badgers, the majority of which are not infectious and whose deaths will have no significant impact on the spread of bovine TB.”

Dominic Dyer  CEO Badger Trust  Tel: 07876 596233
Jack Reedy Media Adviser Badger Trust Tel: 07751 731107 or 01564 783129

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Patron: Mike Dilger
(Natural History Presenter)

The Essex Badger Protection Group
is affiliated to The Badger Trust

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