Last year we brought a High Court Judicial Review claim, that to keep culling badgers after a four-year cull was an unlawful, unproven approach to bTB control. In addition, we claimed that safeguards to nature reserves from ecological damage following badger removal were inadequate. Defra and Natural England continue badger culling in England on an increasing scale, killing 67,000+ badgers to date, based on what we say is wrong advice, decision making and procedure. We ended on the wrong side of the finely based decisions, but with advice that applying to appeal would be worthwhile.
Back in Court in March 2019, we successfully showed how Natural England had breached their duty under Section 28 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 with many inadequate assessments prior to licensing culls. We showed how Natural England’s systems were at fault and how they have extensively changed their procedures since our challenges began in 2017.
We now have leave to appeal aspects of the 2018 judgments and need to raise £28,000 by July 2019 for this. We are also seeking permission to appeal the March judgment, where the Judge agreed that we were correct in some aspects, but ruled in favour of Natural England..
In addition, we are at various stages of challenge on several other issues including the 2018 Low Risk Area (LRA) badger culling policy, the Cumbria LRA 2018 Licence specifically, other 2018 badger cull licences and regarding Supplementary Culling in Gloucestershire and Somerset pilot areas where bTB rates are increasing. Several thousand pounds for each of these is required to establish feasibility and to determine potential outcomes even before applying to the court.
Against very difficult odds, sufficient progress has been achieved for this work to continue. Our intention is to seek legal justice for wildlife and people by having all our arguments clearly heard in Court. Financial support has already generously been given by badger groups, trusts, charities and members of the public and together we are a major force for change. We hope that people not already part of The Badger Crowd will read this appeal and spread the effort by joining us and asking others to do so too. Every donation, no matter how modest, contributes to the total required. Thank you for caring and please help us if you can.