legal challenge against badger culling

As many will know, Wild Justice has done exceptionally well getting the Crowdfunding it required probably because of the high profiles of those involved and also the recent successes they have had on other challenges.  Wild Justice has since closed its fundraiser.

However, Tom Langton and Badgercrowd are crowdfunding to try to help badgers and promote effective approaches to bovine TB control.

You can help support the cause at

If you prefer to donate by cheque or bank transfer, you can contact Tom on 01986 784596 or Pat Hayden on 01342 870320 and they will advise you of the arrangements.  Or if you prefer, you can e-mail Tom at or Pat at

Tom’s blog is shown below in date order.

New legal challenge against badger culling.

First of all,  huge congratulations to Wild Justice for reaching the funding target for their latest legal challenge on the humaneness of the free shooting of badgers as licensed by Natural England. Follow @WildJustice_org on Twitter, or sign up to their newsletter on the Wild Justice web site to receive email updates with the latest news about the case. It is fantastic to see widening support for the fight against badger culling and we will be in regular contact with Wild Justice as the cases develop.

There is no doubt about the intensely cruel aspects of the culls, but they are also flawed for a range of technical and legal reasons. With support from The Badger Trust, I have now launched an appeal for a new legal case challenging aspects of failed, incomplete or irrational consideration in Defra’s ‘Next Steps’ 5th March policy guidance.

Problems include the ignoring of key recommendations of the 2018 ‘Godfray report’ and the confining of badger vaccination to a minor role, both now and in the future. Additional grounds relate to unaddressed consideration of ecological impacts of wildlife disturbance upon designated nature reserves.

It is important also to challenge the more recently and newly-invented approaches to badger culling in the Low Risk Area (LRA) of the north and east of England. In Cumbria, where cattle brought over from Northern Ireland a few years ago with the bovine TB 17z strain have infected badgers locally. Here there is no restraint to the number of badgers killed. The approach shows the frightening sign of badger massacres to come, as alluded to in the 2020 policy if this approach cannot be stopped.

The poor epidemiology and the speculative ‘risk pathways’ approach of the Animal Plant and Health Agency add up to a policy out of control that must be halted. The licenses issued this June should be revoked and no new licenses issued this year, including for Derbyshire where culling was prevented last year.  The policies should be withdrawn and rethought over a minimum two-year cessation period with advice from stakeholders who have been overlooked.

Otherwise badgers face an unprecedented slaughter over the next two years and beyond, with the door to prolonged mass killing (as in R. o. Ireland since 2004) opening up and no mechanism in place to bring it to an end. These terrible policies must be challenged. Please help me try to help the badgers and promote effective approaches to bovine TB control with a donation if you can.

If you prefer to donate by cheque or bank transfer, please contact me on 01986 784596 or Pat Hayden on 01342 870320 and we will advise you of the arrangements.  Or if you prefer, you can e-mail me on Tom Langton or Pat on  Donations made in this way have the benefit of enabling gift aid to be claimed, if applicable.

Thank you.

Tom Langton

8th July 2020

Badger Fighting Fund grows well in first week.

Dear Friends,

A huge “thank you” to all who have donated to the fundraiser and helped to promote it over the last few days.   It is now just over half way to the stretch target of £18,000 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 Review 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 its 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.

Tom Langton

17th July 2020