Extended badger culls face High Court challenge by ecologist
Tom Langton, an ecology consultant and member of the Badger Trust, argues an expansion to the badger culling programme is ‘unlawful’.
An ecologist bringing a High Court challenge against extended badger culls claims they risk making the bovine TB epidemic worse.
Badger culls were introduced in 2011 in a bid to reduce the spread of the disease, which results in the destruction of infected cattle herds.
Government guidance issued last year expanded the existing badger cull programme to new areas in England and allowed “supplementary culling”.
Tom Langton, an ecology consultant and member of the Badger Trust, is asking the court to quash both the Government’s policy and the licences issued under it by Natural England – arguing they are “unlawful”.
Mr Langton claims there is not enough scientific support for extending the culling and says the Government has not considered the ecological impact on widespread badger removal from the countryside.
He said: “This case is an important fight not just for the badger but also for the future of our countryside and the farming industry.
“The badger cull policy is failing farmers, taxpayers and our precious wildlife and will make the bovine TB epidemic worse.
“All will continue to suffer unless we can focus the necessary expertise and resources on proven cattle-based measures to reduce the spread of bovine TB in the national herd, which may again be heading for destruction.”