Welsh badger cull appeal legal bill of £57,000
11 August 2010 - BBC News
The legal cost of the Welsh Assembly Government's
(WAGs) fight to challenges to its
planned badger cull pilot was more than £57,000, it has emerged. A
Freedom of Information request showed it included £20,000 paid towards the
Badger Trust's costs. The trust last month won its court fight to halt a cull in
north Pembrokeshire and parts of Ceredigion. Court of Appeal judges said the
plan should have referred to the proposed cull area only, not the whole of
Wales. The £57,446.65 external legal costs faced by the assembly government were
revealed by the office of the chief veterinary officer for Wales. Ministers had
hoped to carry out a cull in north Pembrokeshire as they saw this as a way to
prevent cases of TB in cattle.
The appeal court made its decision after the
Badger Trust appealed against
the cull, questioning its effectiveness. Lord Justice Pill said the WAG was wrong to make an order for the whole of Wales when it consulted
on the basis of an Intensive Action Pilot Area (IAPA) which only supported a
cull on evidence within the IAPA. About 1,500 badgers would have been killed
under the plan. Farmers' unions later described the decision to stop the cull as
a disaster for farming.
But the Badger Trust said that "killing badgers can play no meaningful part
in the eradication of bovine TB and that robust cattle measures are sufficient".
For more information, please click the following link:
Badgerland asks: Earlier this year, WAG Rural
Affairs Minister Elin Jones indicated that the reason she went for legal powers
to bring in a badger cull across the whole of Wales was based on legal advice
from staff internal to her own department!