Badger cull protesters set for the High Court


15 August 2014

Badger cull protesters are to gather outside the High Court in London next week (Thursday 21st August) to draw attention to the Judicial Review between Badger Trust and DEFRA being heard inside. Judgement is unlikely to be given on the day but will be handed down at a later date.

The ‘Badger Army’ protest is the 25th supported by Care for the Wild and Badger Trust in just over a year, and will feature key speakers including broadcaster and naturalist Bill Oddie and leading anti-badger cull campaigner Dominic Dyer.

The Judicial Review will argue that DEFRA and Natural England have failed to put in place any Independent Expert Panel for the planned culling of badgers in Gloucestershire and Somerset in 2014. The Trust contends such a Panel is needed to oversee the design of data collection, its analysis and interpretation. Without this, there can be no proper assessment of the safety, effectiveness and humaneness of the culling operation, something that would be needed before any lawful decision to continue with further culls around the country.

Dominic Dyer CEO of the Badger Trust and Policy Advisor at Care for the Wild said: “DEFRA have done all they can to prevent this Judicial Review case going to the High Court and have failed. Their refusal to put in place any independent monitoring of the badger culls due to take place in Gloucestershire and Somerset over the next few months against the advice of the Independent Expert Panel they set up is a national disgrace.

“The caring compassionate British public will not remain silent, whilst poorly trained NFU contract gunmen move through our countryside at night shooting badgers with rifles and shotguns without any independent monitoring or scrutiny. We know from last year’s culls that many badgers were wounded and suffered long painful deaths in a disastrous operation, which proved a complete and utter failure on scientific, economic and humaneness grounds.

“It’s timely and significant that the protest outside the High Court will be the 25th protest against the cull in just over a year. These protests have taken place all over the country, and have seen tens of thousands of people take to the streets to say that this badger cull is wrong. These people aren’t ‘crazy animal people’ as those who support the cull would like to think – they are normal folk who understand that this cull is a crime against an innocent animal, and they won’t stand for it. Whether or not the High Court decision goes our way, there is no doubt that these protests will continue until the cull stops.”

The Badger Trust legal challenge has received strong support from some members of the Independent Expert Panel (IEP) set up by the Government to monitor the safety, effectiveness and humaneness of the badger culls carried out in 2013. Commenting on the Judicial Review challenge, Ranald Munro, Chairman of the IEP has said:

“The Independent Expert Panel’s report states clearly the rationale for ensuring that independent monitoring and the use of the statistically robust sample sizes and analytical methods, as used in the 2013 culls, are followed in further culling exercises. If this scientific advice is ignored then the data collected during the proposed 2014 culls will be insufficiently reliable for assessment of humaneness and effectiveness. This means that farmers, veterinarians and scientists intimately involved in controlling bovine TB will be denied the information necessary to allow them to assess whether the IEP’s recommended changes to the culling process have corrected the failings identified by the pilot culls.”

The Badger Trust challenge is being heard in the High Court, London, on Thursday 21st August. The Badger Army protest starts at 12 noon until 5pm, with speeches at 12.30pm.

For more information, see

1. For more information on the Badger Army protest and interviews, please contact Chris Pitt, Campaigns and Communications Manager for Care for the Wild, on 07891 743889

2. The Badger Army marches have taken place in: Taunton, Northampton, Bedford, Kettering, Manchester, Brighton, Hastings, Bristol, Leeds, Derby, Shrewsbury, Witney, Stratford Upon Avon, Birmingham, Gloucester, St Albans, Dorchester, Cambridge, Eastbourne, Tewkesbury, London, Exeter, Henley Upon Thames, Colchester, with the march in London on 21st August, being the 25th.

3. For additional information on the Badger Trust legal challenge, please contact Dominic Dyer on 07876 596233 or Jack Reedy on 01564 783129 or 07751 731107