Brian May’s request for judicial review into badger cull rejected

Rock star Brian May’s quest for a judicial review into the legalities of badger culling has failed.
The animal rights campaigner pursued High Court legal action after badger culls began in Dorset and continued in Somerset and Gloucestershire.


But after a first judicial review request was turned down, an appeal has now also been rejected.
May’s Save Me Trust said the government went against its own culling policy and would explore other legal challenges.

The government and the National Farmers’ Union (NFU) said culling badgers would curb tuberculosis (TB) in cattle.

In August the news of an extended badger cull prompted the trust to lodge an unsuccessful request for a judicial review in September.

The trust accused the government of going against Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) policy, published in 2011, “which promised no culling would take place if the incidence of bTB was falling in a specific place”.

Save Me Trust CEO Anne Brummer said Defra figures showed the incidence of bovine TB was declining in both Dorset and Gloucestershire three years before the culls began.

She said: “Where a public authority issues a promise as to how it intends to act, the law requires that the promise is honoured unless there is good reason not to do so.”

However a High Court judge denied the application for a judicial review on appeal at a two-hour oral hearing, on the grounds that the initial request should have been lodged earlier.

The cull has now ended for this year, but the charity is still pursuing “legal action options” as the culls take place over four years.

May did not issue a statement but had earlier said: “This awful policy must be put to bed now, in favour of a policy that really will address the TB problem in cattle.”

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