Sharing this email I've had from Tom Langton at the Badger Crowd.
I just wanted to let you know, in case you had not heard and as someone who has generously supported this legal action, that next week there will be a one-day court hearing on Tuesday 26th July. The Court of Appeal in London will reconsider aspects of the August 2021 Judicial Review judgement of Justice Griffiths in the High Court.
This relates to the Secretary of State’s (George Eustice) alleged failure to ‘have regard’ to the protection of sensitive species and habitats under the Natural Environment and Rural Communities (NERC) Act 2006, when approving the 2020 ‘Next Steps’ policy to allow badger culling in England to expand. The original claim, brought in 2020, follows previous cases brought since 2017 and is supported by the Badger Crowd Network of badger groups and trusts, with a range of charities and individuals too.
Our 2020 claim was that there was a crucial failure of government to adequately consider the potential ecological impacts of mass badger removal upon priority species and habitats (listed to fulfil UK obligations as a signatory to the 1992 Biodiversity Convention) across the wider countryside.
The failure was not to properly consider actions to protect species such as water birds and waders that are vulnerable to the ecological changes caused by removing apex predators in vast numbers across wide areas. It argued that there was a deficiency in the government for not taking adequate steps to consider potential impacts on sensitive species and habitats across around 90% of the countryside. This, when government has already admitted, under legal pressure, that it needs to take measures for special interests on SSSIs, representing the other, approximately 10% of the countryside.
It is not clear whether the hearing will be available online but details are often posted on the Court of Appeal website, the day before the hearing.
Thank you for being a part of this legal challenge. Thank you for standing up and being the voice for badgers and other wildlife in our countryside.
Fingers crossed for a sensible, fair outcome in the Court of Appeal tomorrow and a moratorium on any further culling.