The government’s plans to implement badger culls across the country are going to be reviewed in the High Court, due to a legal challenge presented by the Badger Trust.
The Badger Trust plan to argue against Defra’s decision on three points; firstly, that Defra’s projections that the incidence of TB could be reduced by 12-16 per cent over nine years; secondly, that plans for the trials to involve shooting badgers as they roam is likely to be ineffective or hazardous; thirdly, that the guidance given to the government by Natural England Is unlawful.
Defra has stated that: “Nobody wants to cull badgers. But no country in the world where wildlife caries TB has eradicated the disease in cattle without tackling it in wildlife too.” Defra is investigating vaccines, but says these are still several years away from being ready for use.
Without intervention, it is estimated that TB in cattle will cost the taxpayer one billion pounds over the next 10 years.