Wild Justice lodges appeal against badger cull judicial review decision

In July this year, Wild Justice lodged legal papers at the High Court seeking permission for a judicial review of Natural England’s decision to issue licences to ‘free shoot’ badgers, which Wild Justice argues is a failure to ensure the badger cull is humane (see here).

Last week, a judge refused permission to continue to judicial review (see here).

Today, Wild Justice has lodged court papers to appeal the judge’s order (see here).

8 thoughts on “Wild Justice lodges appeal against badger cull judicial review decision”

  1. I can remember as a teenager in the 1970s it was a rare thing to see a badger. My father used to take us in the summer to a badger sett, and we would sit out until after dark waiting for them to appear but were lucky if we saw them.
    There weren’t many around in those days, it was because they had suffered years of persecution and badger digging from the terrier men.
    Later in the 1980s numbers began to recover and have continued to do so. What a great shame it would be if they were to be culled, and it became a rare thing to see one. Why can’t we learn from the past and let nature take its course?

    1. “Why can’t we learn from the past and let nature take its course?”

      Do you mean such as not to bother with finding a vaccine or therapeutics to fight this novel coronavirus?

      bTB (from cattle) can be fatal to people.

      The answer, Adrian, is to vaccinate against bovine TB. See

      https://www.gov.uk/government/news/green-light-for-ground-breaking-bovine-tb-vaccine-field-trials

      and to vaccinate Badgers:

      https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-51753393

      As my colleague Lord Krebs (and one time boss:-) has shown in his trials, culling is not a ‘good’ solution: in summary, the Trials concluded that a reactive cull of badgers resulted in significant increases in bovine TB and a proactive cull, while controlling TB in the cull area, contributed to an increase in TB in surrounding areas, and would not be cost effective

      I believe we are seeing this expansion of bTB into the surrounding areas of recent culls.

      1. When did bTB transmission to humans become a concern? It has NEVER figured in any of the rhetoric to justify this abomination. When was the last human fatality from bTB?

        The whole thing is based on bad science: right from the off when Solly Zuckerman locked up healthy badgers with infected cattle and showed it could be passed to badgers and then locked up infected badgers with healthy cattle and showed it could pass the other way: a totally unscientific and unrealistic basis for drawing up any sort of policy, as it does not reflect any real conditions.

        Look at some proper science: try Rosie Woodroffe’s work. The key transmission routes are poor husbandry and over-crowded conditions backed up by a rubbish testing programme and a rubbish vaccination regime.

        1. “When did bTB transmission to humans become a concern?”

          When humans started dying from bTB. Pasteurisation of milk was introduced in the nineteenth century to kill off harmful bacteria as a result, but some people still drink unpasteurised milk.

          Perhaps you don’t believe the NHS when it advises: “The bTB bacteria can also infect humans and cause tuberculosis, although this is reported to be mainly through people consuming unpasteurised milk or dairy products (pasteurisation kills the Mycobacterium bovis bacteria).

          Infection can also occur in people who come into close enough contact with infected animals by inhaling the bacteria-containing aerosol droplets exhaled by them – but this is thought to be rare. Humans can also be infected via direct contact with a wound, such as what might occur during slaughter.”

          The UK HPA report that between 1994 and 2011 there were 570 cases of Mycobacterium bovis infection in people.

          As Rosie Woodroffe says “As badger-to-cattle transmission is likely to occur through contamination of their shared environment, and TB bacteria can remain viable for long periods of time in the environment, the effects of increases in ranging behaviour could create a source of infection for several months – long after the individual badger has been culled. In contrast, studies have shown that vaccination prompts no changes in badgers’ ranging behaviour.” which supports what I wrote.

          1. Interestingly medical archaeology suggests that there was no TB in humans until we domesticated cattle. If TB can live a long time in the environment why are farmers who have had cattle slaughtered with the disease not stopped from putting cattle on the pastures the infected cattle used for a quarantine period. Didn’t that used to happen in the 1950s?

  2. Am I not right in thinking that the British Veterinary Association signed up for the badger cull originally but then withdrew support because of the cruel and inhumane way in which it was being carried out? The arrogance of any judge to presume that they know more than the BVA, or any other specialist organisation, about humane / inhumane cull techniques beggars belief.

  3. I understand from the news this evening that the badger cull this year will be extended so that even more badgers will be killed.
    The BBC report that the Government agency Natural England has issued licences for 11 additional areas, alongside re-authorising licences for 33 areas of the country where culling has already taken place in previous years.

    I have read a number of scientific reports which conclude that the culling of badgers is ineffective in eradicating TB. It is suggested that a far more effective and humane approach is one of vaccinating badgers.

    So I can only conclude that this extension of the cull can only be for political purposes.

    If so it’s a disgrace, and perhaps if the government spent more money on developing an effective vaccination for cattle, its policies to reform agriculture and enhance UK wildlife would have more credibility.

    (For those that aren’t aware- At present, the vaccination of cattle against bovine TB is forbidden under international and EU law because it is not possible to distinguish between a Bacille Calmette-Guérin- (BCG) vaccinated and TB-infected cow.)

    It makes me sad, but also very angry, that wildlife seems to lose on every front when it comes up against “vested interests in the countryside”.

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