Last year Justice Cranston ruled against us in our 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 of nature reserves from ecological damage following badger removal were inadequate. Defra and Natural England continue badger culling in England on an increasing scale, based on what we say is wrong advice, decision making and procedure.
In Court in March 2019 we successfully showed how Natural England had again breached their duty under Section 28 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 with inadequate assessments of several areas prior to licensing culls. Pointless badger culling and its under-estimated ecological impact must be opposed. Our efforts were nearly thwarted when Natural England challenged our submission of further witness evidence bringing the inadequacies to the attention of the court. But we fought on to successfully show how Natural Englands systems were at fault and extensively changing their procedures in the future along the way.
We now have leave to appeal aspects of the 2018 judgments and need to raise £28,000 by July 2019. Also, we are seeking permission to appeal the judgment in March this year where the Judge agreed that we were correct in some aspects but failed to grant any relief and awarded costs against us.
In addition we are at various stages of challenge of several other issues including the 2018 Low Risk Area (LRA) badger culling policy, the Cumbria LRA 2018 Licence specifically, other 2018 licences and 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. Hence our total appeal is for £48,000.
The funds will be used entirely for essential legal advice and representation, currently being undertaken at reduced rates. Every £1 spent is monitored and each action reviewed to ensure small amounts go a long way. Our main Habitats Regulations advisor Dominic Woodfield continues to work pro-bono as do I and The Badger Crowd Management Team.
Good progress has been achieved so far and we have plenty to build upon. Our intention is to continue to seek legal justice for badgers by having all our arguments clearly heard in Court. Financial support has already 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.
Tom Langton and The Badger Crowd.