Fur Flies Over Court Decision On Badger Cull

Court Decision Over Proposed Badger Cull Causes Major Debate

Court Decision Over Proposed Badger Cull Causes Major Debate

Already as the dust settles on the court decision to halt the proposed badger cull aimed at slowing down Bovine TB, shades of opinion are already emerging on this hotly debated topic.

Jim Shannon MP is advocating on behalf of the farming sector for a badger cull, whilst Patrick Brown MLA is saying there needs to be an alternative approach to wildlife that is ethical.

Shannon Questions Decision to Halt Badger Cull Plan

Strangford MP Jim Shannon speaking after hearing of the decision taken to pause plans for a badger cull, said he was very concerned about the implications.

Strangford MP Jim Shannon has backed the Ulster Farmers Union lobby supporting a cull on badgers to address the rise of Bovine TB.

Already the Ulster Farmers Union has decried the court decision (see link below to Down News article).

Jim Shannon said: “The decision to pause the cull was announced on Wednesday by Mr Justice Scoffield who identified a failure by the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) to fairly disclose enough information about the scheme during a consultation process.

“I must express my concern at this decision, given the detrimental impact this could potentially have to livestock farmers.

“Whilst this is a highly contentious and emotive issue, the extent of the impact of Bovine Tuberculosis (bTB) amongst cattle is at its highest.

“Figures from the Ulster Farmers Union (UFU) in 2022 have shown that the incidence rate now exceeds 9%, with 14,632 cattle removed in those last twelve months.

Friend or foe ? The badger is at the forefront of a big debate following a court decision to overturn a proposed badger cull in Northern Ireland.

“This disease moves quickly from badgers to cattle, and whilst the decision to condemn cattle is difficult to take, it must be done to protect the livelihoods and livestock of our local cattle and agricultural industry.

“Bovine TB is already removing hundreds of cattle from our industry and that is before it gets the chance to reach its full potential.

“We must engage closely with DAERA to ensure everything possible is being done to roll out this cull strategy effectively.

“It is for the betterment of our local farmers and the protection of their livelihoods.

“I call upon DAERA to engage closely with the Ulster Farmers Union to get a full vision on what impact halting this decision is having.

“The Permanent Secretary must act upon this quickly. Time really is of the essence and the ruling from the judge has shown that we must ensure that this is done urgently.”

Brown Welcomes Court Decision On Badger Cull

South Down Alliance MLA Patrick Brown has welcomed the High Court decision to quash DAERA’s Badger Cull Decision.

The Alliance Animal Welfare spokesperson said: “The decision was made last week as a result of a Judicial Review brought by the NI Badger Group and Wild Justice.

“The proposed badger cull was announced by the then DAERA Minister Edwin Poots in 2022 as part of the department’s Bovine TB Eradication strategy.

South Down MLA Patrick Brown is calling for a more suitable and ethical strategy to be put in place to address Bovine TB as he opposes a badger cull.

“The High Court deemed the cull unlawful due to a flawed consultation.”

Following the High Courts Decision, Patrick Brown said: “I am delighted to hear DAERA’s decision for a badger cull has been quashed.

“There is no doubt that Bovine TB is an ongoing issue in Northern Ireland, however, it can be controlled through other methods other than an intensive badger cull.

“A cull would only lead to the destruction of protected wildlife.

“I am hopeful that the High Court’s decision will encourage more engagement between DAERA and the wildlife sector.

“But we need a Minister in place to bring forward a new Bovine TB strategy which includes ethical alternatives.

“An absent Minister will have profound effects for people working within the sector and we need a suitable strategy in place to tackle Bovine TB across NI and South Down.

“I again urge my DUP colleagues to restore the Executive as soon as possible.”

Related Down News article: