Legal challenge

The Badger Trust is taking its legal challenge to the operation of the latest culls to the Court of Appeal tomorrow (9th Oct 2014).

Everyone had expected the independent monitoring of the culls that was in place last year, to check their efficiency and humaneness, to continue this year, but the government refused to put this in place this time.

The appeal follows a hearing on 11th September where the vice-president of the civil division of the Court of Appeal agreed that the trust had a real prospect of success in its appeal.

A press release by the Badger Trust says the Court of Appeal will be asked by the Badger Trust to find that the environment secretary, Liz Truss, has unlawfully failed to put in place an independent Expert Panel to monitor and analyse the results of the continued culling of badgers in Gloucestershire and Somerset in 2014.

The trust says that the use of such a panel to oversee the culls was promised by the secretary of state while she is still considering whether to roll out culls to other areas. Without such a panel, there can be no proper assessment of the safety, effectiveness and humaneness of the culling operation, the trust says, which is necessary before any lawful decision can be made on whether to continue with the culls in other areas.

Professor Tim Coulson, member of the 2013 Independent Expert Panel, and Dominic Dyer, chief executive of the Badger Trust, welcomed the hearing's decision to grant an appeal.