Pembrokeshire badger cull court appeal bid closes
23 March 2010 - BBC News
A legal challenge to the assembly government's decision to cull badgers in
Pembrokeshire has finished taking evidence at a hearing in Swansea. Justice Lloyd Jones will now consider the representations before making a
ruling, possibly not until next month.
The Badger Trust applied to the High Court for a judicial
review of the proposed cull, aimed at combating bovine TB infection.
Justice Lloyd Jones will make a written judgement, possibly by the middle of next week but
more likely in April. There is a time constraint as the assembly government
hopes to start the cull in May.
Timothy Corner QC, on behalf of the assembly government, said there was no
dispute about the significance of bovine TB and the effect on cattle in Wales
and the UK. He argued there was a lack of evidence for vaccinating badgers and
it had not been qualified scientifically. He said the Rural Affairs Minister
Elin Jones had to make a decision given the seriousness of the bovine TB
epidemic in Wales rather than wait for a vaccine.
The Badger Trust's barrister
David Wolfe countered by saying that there
seemed to be a different approach to pushing forward with the cull in
Pembrokeshire while possibly vaccinating in other parts of Wales at a later
date. He also questioned whether the minister had made her decision based on all
the facts and all the scientific evidence available. He referred to a meeting
last September when an assembly government official met Defra officials and an
unpublished paper at that time seemed to suggest there were fewer benefits to
culling badgers than originally thought.
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