Today (8th August), a news item was posted on farmersguardian.com titled ‘Badger Trust wins right to badger cull appeal hearing’.
‘… THE Badger Trust has been granted the right to appeal against a High Court ruling in July that Defra’s planned badger cull in England is lawful.
Lord Justice Laws granted the appeal on just one of the three grounds requested by the Trust, after its High Court defeat in July.
He has agreed to expedite the appeal hearing, following a request by Defra, which is keen to ensure the hearing does not delay the culls, which are scheduled to start in West Gloucestershire and West Somerset in the ‘early autumn’, after the Olympics have finished.
Mr Justice Ouseley ruled emphatically in favour of Defra in the High Court on July 12, dismissing the case that the planned cull, due to commence in the autumn, was unlawful on all three grounds argued by the Trust.
The trust then lodged a written appeal on all three grounds. Lord Justice Laws announced that he has granted permission for an appeal on Ground One only.
This the trust’s claim that Mr Justice Ouseley erred in law in agreeing that section 10(2)(a) of the Protection of Badgers Act 1992 could be used to grant licences for badger culling, as the culling ‘would prompt rather than prevent the spread of disease within an area’, as required by the act.
Mr Justice Ouseley had agreed with Defra’s counsel, Nigel Pleming QC that the clear purpose of the Defra policy was ‘to prevent the spread of disease’, meaning Defra was ‘using the statutory powers for the purpose for which they were given’.
Announcing that he had granted the appeal, Lord Justice Laws acknowledged that Mr Justice Ouseley was ‘probably right’ in his decision on this ground but added that ‘the point is arguable and the issue important’.
He added that there was ‘nothing in the other grounds’, in which the trust had argued that Defra’s cost impact assessment was flawed and that its guidance to Natural England was invalid.
No date has yet been set for the appeal hearing.
Badger Trust spokesman Jack Reedy said he was ‘pleased’ permission for the hearing has been granted and claimed culling badgers would spread the disease, particularly in the boundary around the cull area, and would only produce a marginal slowdown in the rate of bTB levels in cattle over nine years.
Following the July 12 verdict, a Defra spokesperson said the Department was ‘pleased’ and would work to ensure the pilot culls can now begin ‘as soon as is practical’.
Natural England is currently considering licence applications submitted by companies formed by farmers in the two pilot cull areas …’
Read the item and add your comment online at www.farmersguardian.com/home/livestock/livestock-news/badger-trust-wins-right-to-badger-cull-appeal-hearing/48870.article
Read more on the Badger Trust web-site at www.badger.org.uk