Help Stop DEFRA Plans to Extend Badger Culling

by Tom Langton

Help Stop DEFRA Plans to Extend Badger Culling

by Tom Langton
Tom Langton
Case Owner
I’m a professional conservation ecologist with experience in wildlife justice. I've helped bring Natural England & Defra to account in tribunals & High Court trials over badger culling since 2017.
Funded
on 14th July 2020
£16,170
pledged of £18,000 stretch target from 629 pledges
Tom Langton
Case Owner
I’m a professional conservation ecologist with experience in wildlife justice. I've helped bring Natural England & Defra to account in tribunals & High Court trials over badger culling since 2017.

Latest: Aug. 3, 2020

THANK YOU - TARGET REACHED TO CHALLENGE BADGER CULLS

The last few days have seen a flurry of donations. And so it  is very pleasing to announce that with a number of offline donations we have now reached the £18,000 necessary to enable our l…

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The controversial, cruel and pointless badger culls must be opposed and brought to an end. Despite government headlines, to phase it out, the 2020 "Next Steps" 5th March policy guidance suggests that badger killing will now be heavily accelerated.

The Badger Crowd of anti-cull organisations, trusts, grant-giving bodies and private individuals has held Defra and Natural England (who licence culls) to account in court and tribunal cases over the last three years. The Badger Trust has already helped facilitate the early stages of seeking Judicial Review of the March  2020 guidance, but funds are now needed to get matters into court.

Our approach includes highlighting the downgrading of badger vaccination as a focus. Wider badger vaccination could help badgers resist this terrible cattle disease and play an extended role in showing why badger culling is a dangerous and unnecessary distraction to bovine TB eradication.

The 2020 policy guidance should be  withdrawn and replaced with a humane and logical strategy, influenced by the relevant stakeholders and focused around the overdue switch to non-lethal intervention. Suggestions from the 2018 'Godfray' report to move to periodic culling, to retain a two-year badger cull cessation period (after a 4-year intensive cull) and to instigate significant levels of badger vaccination widely have now  been dropped. Other vaccination plans are diminished to small or unclear options, with England’s badgers decimated over the next ten years.  This is completely unacceptable.

Court action is also needed to oppose culling in the Low Risk Area (LRA) of the north and east of England. In Cumbria cattle brought over from Northern Ireland a few years ago with the bovine TB 17z strain have infected badgers locally. 

In Cumbria, badgers infected are being purged over a large farmland areas in the Eden valley south of Penrith. This despite there being no active herd breakdowns when the shooting started in 2018 and only a handful of breakdowns since. Enhanced cattle tests from 2017 had already found the ‘hidden’ reservoir in cattle. Culling badgers here is unnecessary, scandalous and inexcusable.

Funds are needed for court costs and specialist lawyers to undertake legal challenge preparations  regarding the  2018 LRA policy decisions too. 

The fight to get into court is never easy and your help is essential. Please tell people who care for badgers about this urgent appeal.  Thank you.

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Update 4

Tom Langton

Aug. 3, 2020

THANK YOU - TARGET REACHED TO CHALLENGE BADGER CULLS

The last few days have seen a flurry of donations. And so it  is very pleasing to announce that with a number of offline donations we have now reached the £18,000 necessary to enable our lawyers to complete the required work.

If permission is granted for judicial review, we will launch  further appeal according to the stages and procedures.

A huge thanks  to all of you for standing up for badgers. We must hold Defra and Natural England to account for the cruel, unscientific,  damaging and wasteful badger cull. 

Killing badgers is a scandal. It can do nothing to address inadequate testing and movement control and the regular spread of cattle TB, by cattle, between farms and into the far corners of England and beyond.

Update 3

Tom Langton

July 30, 2020

Renewal required for 2020 “Next Steps" policy challenge.

Just a quick message to say thanks again for helping me to stand up for badgers against the Badger Culls in England.  Following notice from the High Court and detailed considerations by our legal team this week, there has been a flurry of activity. 

Today our lawyers will apply for a ‘renewal’ hearing in order fulfill the aim of progressing to a full Judicial Review hearing as soon as possible. Other aspects of the case, against culling outside the High Risk Area - in the Edge and Low Risk Areas - are being worked on too.

Fundraising  has been ticking along, with the need now with a little over a week to go for a  fresh burst of effort  to promote the Crowd Fund and to reach the target. Online and offline we have had some very generous donations, including several from Badger Groups around England and Wales and £500 from Born Free.  Many individual members have given generous personal donations. 

Several Badger Group members continue to help with the backroom work and Badger Trust support has been essential too. Many people have phoned, texted  and emailed with support and it is fantastic to find that despite all the pressures of the lockdown there is still a very strong and powerful feeling within the badger and wildlife conservation world to fight the cruel, unscientific and failing  government policy.

A huge thank you again to all of you making this possible. The public at large too are largely still outraged against a bovine TB  and badgers policy that is effectively out of control and counter-productive. Many are shocked to learn that the government spin that culling has ended or will end any time soon is false. 

We are united to try to improve the situation for badgers, our wildlife, countryside and rural economy. I do hope I get the chance to meet or speak with you as this work progresses and that we can help to bring about change and an end to badger culling as soon as possible. Please alert others to the appeal if you can.

Kind regards and best wishes, Tom

Tom Langton

July 2020

Update 2

Tom Langton

July 16, 2020

Badger Fighting Fund grows well in first week.

A huge Thank You to all who have donated to the fundraiser and helped to promote it over the last few days. It is close to half way within the first week which is pretty good going. Please alert anyone you think might be interested in helping this challenge and point them to our Crowd Justice donations page.

An ‘Acknowledgement of Service’ has now been received from Defra laying out their objection to the claims made and the papers should be with a judge for consideration before too long, as permission for a full Judicial Reveiw hearing is sought. Because elements of the 2018 policy as well as the 2020 policy are being pursued, the lawyers are working on that too in order to prepare a comprehensive and complete documentation of concerns.

Today in response to a parliamentary petition, the government repeated it’s defiant message. This is that in 2017, some carefully selective modelling work using data partly held secret from the public, adds up to a dramatic decrease in bovine TB in places where badgers have been killed. Not only is this conjecture based on uncertain variables, the fanciful and cooked-up claims do not reveal, for example, the spike in bTB in one of the areas in 2018, and the minimal  change in disease prevalence (proportion of herds with bTB ) over the last seven years. It is as if the last two years don’t count in any report of change since 2013. Who do they think they are trying to fool? The public certainly, who were also wrongly told in March that badger culling is being phased out. There are no credible signs or timetable for dropping culling, and only accelerated cruel bloody badger killing and more and more constraints on vaccination.

So the fight is real and urgent, and you can help by spreading the word and helping us to get the best legal advice possible applied to the situation.

Thank you for caring. And for being a part of the battle for the truth and justice for badgers, in the interest of all.

Update 1

Tom Langton

July 8, 2020

Day 1.Thanks for your donation.

Hello everyone. Firstly thank you so much for your kind messages of support and generous donations over the last 24 hours. More of a trickle compared with Wild Justice's whirlwind fundraiser to address the dreadful cruel 'free shooting' of badgers with many badgers dying a slow horrible death. 

Slow and steady has tended to be the trend for badgerists, with letters and legal action being taken in relation to protecting badgers from culling in most years and for a decade or more across the UK.  We are all worn out from the long legal fight to get justice for badgers but it will not stop now as badgers are under even greater threat than ever.

In addition to the Badger Trust's amazing donation to get the challenge started, there are promises of several 'offline' pledges, so we are over one third of our initial 30-day 'short' target within the first 24 hours, which is not bad going. We will need to step-up and get ready to tackle our stretch target when we get to £6,500.

News of the appeal will go out wider today and tomorrow and hopefully we can catch the attention of more people who care for badgers and wish to support the essential legal work.  You can help by alerting your friends and contacts to this appeal and by letting any suitable social media networks know of this fundraiser.

Yesterday we had a lot of Freedom of Information information sent to us by Natural England, regarding their consideration of the future of badger culling  and reaction to the 'Godfray Report' and 'Next Steps' policy guidance. There is a large amount of information to consider and these have been sent to our lawyers as they show quite clearly the terrible disarray surrounding the governments approach.

Our team of volunteers works hard most days to try to make the legal challenges possible as do our lawyers. You have helped to make it happen again and I look forward to bringing you regular updates as we go along. Hopefully more good news if we can pass the milestones ahead and make our case for a court hearing.

Regards and best wishes, Tom



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