Good news! Court of Appeal rules against badger cull in Wales

Posted on the 13th July 2010

Good news for badgers! The Court of Appeal has today ruled against the Welsh Assembly Government’s plan to carry out a cull of around 1,500 badgers in a 288 sq km (111 sq miles) area of south-west Wales.

The Appeal, brought by the Badger Trust, was based on the lack of scientific evidence that such a cull would be effective in eradicating bovine TB (bTB), on the following three grounds:

  • Points 1 and 2 argued that the definition of ‘substantial’ adopted by the Welsh Assembly Government set too low a threshold, and that there was a necessity to carry out a balancing exercise between the harm to badgers and the benefit to cattle. The Government was expecting a mere 9 per cent reduction in bTB, which, argued the Badger Trust, would not amount to a ‘substantial’ reduction of the disease, as called for by law.
  • Point 3 related to the Welsh Assembly Government’s Order for a cull, which covered the whole of Wales, when evidence relating only to an Intensive Action Pilot Area (IAPA) was used as the basis for consultation and decision-making.

All three judges found in favour of the Badger Trust on ground 3, whilst two of the three judges found in favour of the Badger Trust on grounds 1 and 2.

All agreed the Order should be quashed.

The solicitor for the Badger Trust, Gwendolyn Morgan, told the BBC: ‘Welsh Assembly Government has indicated that they will accept today’s decision and will not appeal to the Supreme Court.’

This is a fantastic victory for the Badger Trust, and, of course for the badgers who are under threat. There is still, however, the very real possibility that farmers will take matters into their own hands and kill badgers illegally.

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