Badger cull campaigners lose Court of Appeal bid
BADGERS will be culled after campaigners lost their bid to stop the slaughter.
A challenge to the culls which will kill thousands of the animals reached the Court of Appeal yesterday.
But the Badger Trust failed to convince judges there that the proposals needed to be thrown out.
Afterwards, Patricia Hayden, vice-chairman of the Trust, said: "We are very disappointed. We don't know what the next step is, but we will not give up."
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The Trust was appealing against Mr Justice Ouseley's decision in July to uphold government plans for two pilot culls to tackle tuberculosis in cattle, one of which is in west Gloucestershire. It said killing badgers will make no meaningful contribution to tackling the disease and claimed the controversial scheme could lead to 10 culls each year with the prospect of 40,000 animals being "pointlessly killed" over the next four years.
Lord Justice Laws, Lord Justice Rimer and Lord Justice Sullivan heard the licences allowing the culls to start later this autumn would be issued under the Protection of Badgers Act 1992, which consolidated provisions from, among other things, the 1973 Badgers Act.
The issue was whether issuing licences for culling was within the 1992 Act powers, and consistent with the purpose for which Parliament, in 1973, gave the power to issue licences to kill badgers.
The Trust's case was that it was "plainly not" but the three judges unanimously rejected the appeal.
After the July ruling, which was welcomed by the the National Farmers Union, a spokesman for the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said: "No one wants to cull badgers but last year bovine TB led to the slaughter of over 26,000 cattle, and to help eradicate the disease it needs to be tackled in badgers."
Cost of the cattle losses was estimated at £91million.