22 August 2013
The National Farmers’ Union have served an injunction to stop illegal actions in the cull area, by named persons and their organisations, but would also have the effect of introducing prohibitions against lawful protest. The restrictions currently sought go way beyond those under existing law and far beyond the stated aim, not to prevent “lawful protests”.
The injunction sought by the NFU would apply to any person protesting against the cull (presently entirely legal). It would stop photography of any “protected person” which as currently asked for includes anyone occupying a premises. In short it would prevent someone taking a family photograph.
It seeks to prevent protest taking place within 100 metres of any occupied building. It seeks to restrict noise-making such as a megaphone and would make most protests largely pointless.
The Badger Trust is not named as a defendant in the application. But it would affect ordinary Badger Trust members and supporters that want to raise legitimate concern about the disastrous policy. The Trust deplores any activity of a violent, disruptive or intimidatory nature and does not support this in any way. But the injunction application goes far beyond seeking to prevent this form of behaviour and could prevent lawful protest against this horrific and pointless cull of badgers.
For the above reasons, at very short notice yesterday the Board of Directors of Badger Trust instructed Paul Ridge of Bindmans to make an application for Badger Trust to be included in the proceedings as an interested party. The matter is being considered in the High Court at this very moment, proceedings commenced at 2.00 p.m. and are scheduled to end at 5.00 p.m. It is possible that a full judgement may be handed down today, otherwise a temporary judgement may be given with a request for the arguments to be further discussed in the near future. Badger Trust is represented by a barrister, those upon whom the injunction is being served will, we understand, represent themselves. There is no connection between us and the named defendants. We will advise you as soon as possible of the outcome.
Dr. Chris Cheeseman has been interviewed by ITV for their main news at 6.00 p.m. tonight including the regional programmes.