Badger Trust is a national charity, funded entirely by donations
and subscriptions. Its mission; to use all lawful means to campaign
for the improved welfare, protection, and conservation of badgers,
their setts and habitats. The modern- day successor to the
National Federation of Badger Groups (which was set up as a
national voice for badger groups fighting against badger culling,
persecution and for sett protection), Badger Trust supports and
represents around 50 badger groups and has a growing number of
The badger has suffered centuries of persecution and it took
years of negotiation, discussion and pressure to persuade
parliament to give both the badger and its setts legal protection.
With that in place we constantly liaise with and work alongside
agencies like the police and the RSPCA, to prevent or prosecute
Despite being a protected species badgers face widespread
threats from snares, road traffic accidents and acts of persecution
from badger baiters, landowners, farmers and gamekeepers who
illegally kill many thousands of them every year. The role of the
Badger Trust and its member Groups in combating all forms of badger
cruelty is a proud one, and although this persecution continues,
our members remain active and vigilant and often appear for the
prosecution as expert witnesses when lawbreakers appear before the
Badger groups work constantly with developers and planning
authorities to minimise the wilful illegal destruction of badger
setts, destruction which in the past has often led to badgers being
Over the past 4 years, we have also seen the Coalition
Government embark on highly controversial badger cull policy as
part of its long term strategy to eradicate bovine TB in
The badger cull pilots undertaken in 2013 in Somerset and
Gloucestershire proved a disastrous failure on scientific,
economic, animal welfare grounds and following a highly successful
anti badger cull campaign by the Badger Trust and other wildlife
protection charities, the Coalition Government has decided not to
extend badger culling to other parts of the country at this
However the pilot culls in Somerset and Gloucestershire are due
to continue and the Badger Trust will campaign strongly to stop
these badger culls and is considering taking further legal action
to achieve this objective.
Already we have invested a great deal of time and money in legal
action and in 2010 we achieved a notable success in Wales, where
-following a change of political control--the Assembly (which
previously favoured culling) opted instead for vaccination, a
positive, forward-looking move.
How We Win
The following is the sequence of events that enabled us to
secure a famous victory and prevent a badger cull in Wales:
- Following a consultation in April 2009, which we responded
robustly against the proposed policy, the Welsh Assembly Government
(WAG) (a Plaid Cymru led coalition) laid an Order before the
Assembly to allow a Government managed cull of badgers in Wales.
The Order covered all of Wales although WAG intended to apply it to
an Intensive Action Area (IAA) in Pembrokeshire.
- In December 2009 we made an application to the High Court to
seek a judicial review of the WAG decision.
- Permission was granted and the judicial review was heard at
Swansea Civil Justice Centre on 22 and 23 March 2010. The Judge
refused our judicial review on 16 April 2010.
- We decided to appeal on three grounds and were given permission
to do so.
- The appeal was heard by three judges at Cardiff Civil Justice
Centre on 30 June 2010. The judgment was given in the Royal Courts
of Justice on 13 July 2010 and our appeal was successful on all
three grounds. The Order was quashed.
- In September 2010, WAG launched a consultation on a new Order
that would limit the Government managed cull of badgers to the IAA.
We again responded robustly against the proposal.
- The WAG laid the Order before the Assembly on 3 March 2011 and
the Order came into force on 30 March 2011.
- We sent WAG a letter on 15 April 2011 stating that we would
initiate judicial review proceedings unless the Order was
- On 5 May 2011 elections to the Assembly took place and Labour
won 30 of the 60 seats and decided to form the new Welsh Government
- In accordance with their election manifesto, the new WG
announced a review of the bovine TB science and policy and set up
an Independent Panel to provide advice. We had a meeting with the
Minister and submitted evidence to the Panel.
- On 20 March 2012, the Minister, after considering the panel's
report, announced that the Welsh Government would be pursuing a
policy of vaccination of badgers in the IAA and would not be
proceeding with the badger cull.