Stop government badger culls adding to our biodiversity catastrophe

by Tom Langton

Stop government badger culls adding to our biodiversity catastrophe

by Tom Langton
Tom Langton
Case Owner
A professional conservation ecologist with experience in wildlife justice. I've helped bring Defra and Natural England to account in tribunals & High Court trials over badger culling since 2017.
on 08th June 2022
pledged of £22,000 stretch target from 732 pledges
Tom Langton
Case Owner
A professional conservation ecologist with experience in wildlife justice. I've helped bring Defra and Natural England to account in tribunals & High Court trials over badger culling since 2017.

Latest: July 11, 2022

We have reached our fundraising target - Thank You!

Dear all,

I am delighted to inform you that in recent days, with some offline donations we have finally reached the target for the current legal challenge. There are a few donations still promised and…

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I'm a nature conservation scientist, fed up with the relentless killing of healthy badgers on the uncertain pretext of preventing bovine tuberculosis in cattle herds, with a poorly studied, unmeasured and unmonitored contribution to the UK's ever- growing biodiversity crisis.

As a result of our Judicial Review in 2021, (case ref: CO/2062/2020) the Court of Appeal has awarded permission to Appeal the dismissal of aspects of the judgement. The challenge is to Defra's failure to consider ecological impacts of mass badger removal upon priority species and habitats, by having due  regard, under Section 40 of the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act 2006.

Further funding is now needed for the dedicated legal team to prepare and deliver the appeal case in court. We need to show how precious wildlife has not been properly considered and protected during one of  the largest interventions in the UK countryside of recent times, decimating an iconic protected species for the highly unlikely benefit to livestock disease control that simply needs more accurate disease control testing.

Natural England (NE) have arranged and licensed the slaughtering of badgers across much of the west of England and plan to continue to 2025 and beyond. Cruel, unnecessary badger killings  could continue until up to 250,000 or more are culled.

In 2020, the Badger Trust generously contributed £5,000 to help seek permission for a case to be made in the High Court and many other contributed. The case struggled to get heard but we won through.  Charities and many individuals including Wild Justice also gave very generous donations and support to succeed in a lengthy  process to gain permission  for JR. Badger Trust Sussex and many other badger groups have given amazing continued support.  And now we go again, to appeal the decision of the High Court last August, that we believe was incorrect. 

With your help we can continue to fight on and to stop the new policy  before it causes more damage to biodiversity protection and recovery. Before it does yet more unmeasured  harm to badgers, cows, farm families and livelihoods. 

Together, the Badger Crowd can achieve this. We need to raise funds over the next few weeks to cover costs for the dedicated legal team planning, preparing and delivering the case hearing currently planned  for the end of July. They will write legal representations, give advice, attend the Appeal hearing. Every penny raised goes to legal essentials and nothing else.

Huge thanks are already due to many of  you for helping get the challenge to this point. This is our latest chance to stand up and fight for the badgers, our beautiful, enigmatic and protected mammal but also the the wildlife and habitats that they share in our countryside.

Badgers, of course, play an important role in the dynamic processes of natural ecosystems in the urban and rural areas. But they have become victims of the poorly managed cattle TB epidemic, of flawed government science and of failed statutory duty.

Recent studies have shown that badger culling since 2013 has played no role in reducing bovine TB in cattle. You can see the latest peer reviewed paper in the journal Veterinary Record here:

So we have common sense, science and the protection of badgers to fight for.

We are the Badger Crowd. We stand up for Badgers. 

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Update 6

Tom Langton

July 11, 2022

We have reached our fundraising target - Thank You!

Dear all,

I am delighted to inform you that in recent days, with some offline donations we have finally reached the target for the current legal challenge. There are a few donations still promised and  not yet arrived, so please continue to send in any that are in progress, as we always find there is work to be done after the hearing and other challenges are also under active consideration.

Thank you for your part in getting us there on time. It is only with the generous financial support of those who really care about badgers that this has been possible, and we can only hope for a positive outcome in the weeks ahead.

We will keep updating news on progress via the badger crowd web pages

Kind regards, Tom

Tom Langton

Update 5

Tom Langton

July 1, 2022

Stop the slaughter of healthy, just weaned badger cubs.

Dear all,

As we head towards the end of our appeal for funding and the court date nears, I am writing one last time to thank you for your support and generosity. Thanks are also due to those who have donated via Badger Trust-Sussex including recently Calderdale, East Surrey and South Yorkshire Badger Groups, Roger Weeks, and Badger Trust Sussex themselves,. We are now closing in on our target. Thank you and please keep it coming and if you can find others to chip-in.

This tragic photo reminds us that over the last four weeks Natural England has authorised the shooting of adult badgers but also their newly weaned or nearly weaned cubs. Cubs such as the one shown here, dead at five months old are mostly completely healthy and ready to begin life. They are shot in a way opposed by the British Veterinary Association. This is carried out on the premise that doing so somehow contributes to stopping the spread of bTB in cattle herds which is unproven. Current peer-reviewed evidence shows badger culling has been futile. BTB in cattle is caused by the regular movement of diseased cattle and despite the knowledge that the SICCT test to detect bTB in cows is imperfect and will slow, but not stop the disease spreading.

The Court of Appeal case hearing coming up at the end of this month. It  highlights the lack of regard the government has had towards badgers and the potential detrimental ecological effects of killing them on other species and habitats. This is something government funded researchers  have stated and restated can cause change to wildlife communities. We are facing ten more cull areas being authorised in September of this year in addition to the newly authorised 'supplementary culls' bringing more pointless killing of healthy badgers and disturbance to our last remaining precious ecosystems.

We must stop this unscientific and wicked waste of life and resources, so if you can please find a way to help the money come in to complete this appeal over the next two week, the Badger Crowd, to which you belong, and I and will be truly grateful.

Thank you, Tom

We are the Badger Crowd. We stand up for Badgers.

Update 4

Tom Langton

June 19, 2022

Ecological impacts: new blog on secret report exposes data 'massaging'

Hi again everyone,

I just wanted to update all you wonderful supporters on where to locate a new guest blog by Dominic Woodfield  who has been an expert on Environmental Impact Assessment and Habitats Regulations Assessment in the badger cull eco-impacts legal cases since 2017. He is an experienced wildlife surveyor, and with habitat restoration and creation and in the needs of protected fauna and flora. This blog has been kindly hosted by Mark Avery on his personal blog, here:.

Mark is a vital part of Wild Justice and their environmental projects and cases are well worth supporting via their website and you can sign up to their online newsletter.

The Court of Appeal case at the end of July to which Dominic’s article relates, concerns the big picture responsibilities of government bodies to ‘have regard’ to biodiversity under the 2006 NERC Act. The upcoming legal case is a test of the extent to which efforts to safeguard biodiversity should be made in the run up to big policy decisions that impact listed wildlife priority species and habitats.

The case is about badger culling but it is actually also about how government bodies at the highest level, go about addressing protection of all NERC Act species and habitats.

Thanks are due to Mark Avery for his interest in the British Trust for Ornithology report described by Dominic and awareness of the concerning secrecy and its winkling out. Further, to Ruth Tingay and Chris Packham also of Wild Justice for supporting this and previous crowd funding efforts, to help see this legal case through the court process.

Thank you all for donating in recent weeks. Please, if you can help now to push the funding along this evening and in the coming days towards our final target by the middle of July.

Best wishes, Tom Langton  

Update 3

Tom Langton

June 12, 2022

Badger cull case funding - we are now in touching distance.

Dear badger friends,

Thanks to the huge effort in recent days we are close to the ‘stretch’ target after a little over four weeks since the start of the appeal. There have been 585 pledges to this Crowd Justice appeal that have made this possible and without those gifts, none of this work would be possible.

Our  initial target of £9,000 was reached last week and this was a milestone needed to make sure that obtaining the case funding was viable. Now we need to reach the full amount of £22,000 in order to make sure that all of the court costs, necessary legal work and representations can be made by our expert legal team.

To give us a bit more time, an extension of 30 days will shortly appear, this ending in the middle of July, a couple of weeks before the Court of Appeal  hearing in London.

If you would like more information on badger culls, this legal case on the eco-impacts of removing badgers from ecosystems, there is commentary on the Badger Crowd website Home page, Blogs and Media pages    

This includes recent failing attempts by the government to publicly deny peer-reviewed research in Veterinary Record, that shows badger culling has not worked in the High Risk Area culls since 2013.       

Thank you to those who join the ranks of the Badger Crowd, and those who simply wish us well. Thank you for helping to oppose the cruel, unscientific, wasteful, divisive  and unwanted persecution of badgers using public finance. 

If you can find a way to help us to tip get the fund across the line over the next few days it will help give badgers and other animals and plants where they live the voice they really need. 

With kind regards and good wishes,

Tom Langton. 

We are the Badger Crowd. We fight for badgers.

Update 2

Tom Langton

June 4, 2022

Badger eco-impacts case: push needed to achieve fundraising target

Hi everyone,

I’m writing to ask if all parts of the Badger Crowd can help us double down on fundraising in the days ahead to try to reach the target we set back in May. A fair bit to do with 11 days remaining .

It’s been a very busy time recently, preparing for the legal case and on matters relating to Defra’s surprising refusal to accept published veterinary science by myself, Mark Jones and Iain McGill..

This week we even had a parliamentary question from Caroline Lucas answered regarding Defra’s reluctance to accept extensively peer-reviewed science:

The Sun and the Spectator wrote about it too: Bodgers!      

And Mark Jones from Born Free wrote a detailed summary in WellBeing magazine

So a lot of effort is going in to expose the truth behind the cruel,  expensive unscientific, unethical failed  badger culls in England. And we need to further expose the lack of consideration of the impact of badger culling on the environment.  To highlight how government behaviour towards species management has been a major driver to the lack of wildlife recovery and biodiversity crisis in England.

Best wishes and thanks again. 

We are the Badger Crowd. We stand up and fight for badgers. 


PS Please excuse cross-posting because I am emailing all those who have donated to various funds over the last few years. So  you may get this message more than once but I cannot think of a way around that!

Update 1

Tom Langton

May 19, 2022

The first three appeal days are important.

Just to let you know that we have had a significant offline donation and after three days, we are not far off the half way mark to £9,000, which is  apparently where we need to be to reach our target in late June. 

However, times are very hard and people have so many worthy causes to give to. We need to keep pushing out this appeal to those who are not aware of the broader implications of this legal case. It seeks justice not only for badgers but in relation to the protections afforded to the 2006 NERC Act species and habitats when major developments and interventions come along to potentially harm their survival. 

So please pass the word widely to all wildlife interest groups about this case and guide them to the site. All amounts add up, no matter how small. 

We were reminded about he secret ways in which Natural England behave by a diligent researcher who recently discovered documents by Natural England on how to encourage badger culling on National  Nature Reserves. Hard to believe -see below. The signing up guidance however remains secret, it seems.

NE think keeping some kind of rough record of who shoots predators around cull areas is enough to detect impacts on protected species caused by badger removal. We don't. There is so much wrong with government's approach to the failed badger culling policy. We must fight back to give wildlife  a voice and chance for survival.

Thanks again for all your generosity and  for caring.

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