SAVE ME STATEMENT ON BADGER CULL EXTENSION
Anti-badger cull campaigners, led by Brian May’s Save Me organisation are today celebrating a major victory as the Government today announced an immediate halt to the badger cull taking place under an extension license in Gloucester.
Under the license, granted by natural England in October, the cull was due to continue until 18 December.
May’s Save Me organisation had earlier in the week filed an ‘extremely urgent’ High Court Judicial Review Claim calling for an immediate end to the cull claiming the decision by Natural England to grant an eight week extension in Gloucestershire was ‘unreasonable’ and decided against the advice of its own scientific advisor and it would be unable to meet its predicted targets . But days later High Court Judge Mr Justice Ockleton refused the claim saying the application did not appear to contain any grounds to justify ‘urgent consideration’.
In return, Save Me vowed to continue its legal opposition to the continuing cull by looking at renewing the application and answering the concernsraised in relation to it timing.
Save Me CEO, Anne Brummer stated: "That this application has been rejected comes as no surprise. It has though brought a spotlight focus on the flawed decision making to extend the killing of badgers. We will be renewing the application and in doing so forcing Natural England to admit that there is no way in which this cull will meet its targets and should be halted immediately.”
Today both the Government and the NFU appear to have conceded.As a result the Gloucester cull will be ended three weeks ahead of its due date.
Save Me’s founder, Brian May, who has tirelessly lead opposition to the cull says:“Now that the failure of this whole shameful badger cull shambles can be seen so clearly seen, in spite of many moves of the goalposts, it must be time to abandon the concept, and get on with the only strategy which can ultimately succeed in eradication of bovine TB - vaccination of badgers and other wildlife, and prioritization of work to license the vaccine for cattle. The whole country will get behind this: David Cameron only needs to press the button.”
Says Anne Brummer: “We have always maintained the extension was unscientific, unethical, and made ‘unreasonably’. It is now shown to have been carrying on illegal over the last week. It is clear that the Government have ignored not only the scientists they employ but also all specialists in this field. The Government have ignored the voters they represent and steamed through with this ill-fated cull. They have been needlessly disrupting stable badger populations and spreading bTB. The illegal culling - unchecked and uncontrolled by the Government and police has seen the numbers drop at every count".
David Wells of Wells Burcombe Solicitors said ‘ The decision taken by Natural England to revoke the licence is the correct one. It demonstrates that the initial decision to extend the licence was flawed in every respect. Issuing a claim for Judicial Review no doubt contributed to the decision and I am proud to have played my part to help save the plight of badgers. Natural England should be very aware that any future plan to extend the cull beyond the pilot areas will be vigorously challenged.’
While several government officials have confirmed the only cause of the drop in figures could be illegal culling as Woodchester and other monitored setts have remained at the same population levels. Owen Paterson claimed it was the badgers ‘that moved the goal post’. “This policy should never have been in place and should have never left a table discussion” says Save Me
Save Me’s court action, while refused, exposed the weekly figures of the cull, leaving no option but for it to be halted immediately. Save Me reserve the right to return to court if the Government continue with this pointless scheme that will help neither badger nor cattle. It is one of the most appalling travesties of our Government office showing bad judgement , bad science and bloody-mindedness. We will be looking closely at Natural England and the cull operators and the lateness to diligence to the targets, allowing even more badgers to be slaughtered shot in vain.
It has been a long and emotional slog for our Save Me team to finally get a halt to the extension. Today we are sad for the badger lives lost and are graetful some are spared this awful fate.f We pay tribute to everyone involved in the cull on every level not least the dedication of those in the zones . We thank those good men who remained true to their conscience. The extension is over and we have won a battle due to the total incompetence those involved, but the roll over is still a real threat . We must now ensure that the roll-out does not happen. We have good MP’s in Parliament who come in all colours and who oppose this cull. We are continuing to fight the roll out and will issue further litigation if it becomes a reality.
Save me will continue to raise funds for vaccination programs and Brian May and Anne Brummer will become qualified lay vaccinators to begin with the Save Me woodland in Dorset. Read More
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