It is hard to fathom the national mess and disgrace of the English badger cull. The Badger Crowd spent the whole of last year in endless pursuit of justice for badgers with two High Court Judicial Reviews. These are currently at appeal application stage.
At our court appearance for these in July last year, one of our grounds of claim was unable to be considered. Natural England submitted late evidence to the four-day hearing making it difficult for the Court and resulting in there being insufficient time for parts of our argument to be heard.
Despite Natural Englands objections we have now been granted permission for a separate two day hearing on February 28th and March 1st.
The additional ground relating to Section 28 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, refers to the potential damage to Sites of Special Scientific Interest in and around badger culling areas and since the summer we have much more evidence released by Natural England that will help us at the hearing. This legal point has a wider interest than badger culling as it covers SSSIs and other wildlife.
We are now appealing for further funds to get the challenge through the process and to do this we are seeking to raise £9,200 by the end of February. We need funds to pay for the essential work of lawyers, currently being undertaken at specially reduced rates. Every pound spent is monitored and each action is reviewed to ensure small amounts go a long way.
Our main Habitats Regulations advisor Dominic Woodfield continues to work pro bono as do The Badger Crowd management team.
Two more challenges, one to the dreadful Low Risk Area culling policy and the other against the 2018 badger culling licences including those for Cumbria, are currently underway and subject to detailed considerations.
We have achieved a massive amount; many of the stories remain hidden in court papers that cannot yet be released. We intend to fight all the way to have our points heard and achieve Justice for Badgers.
Finally, thank you all for your ongoing support.
Tom Langton and the Badger Crowd.