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Badger Trust loses High Court challenge

The Badger Trust the culls to be stopped Photo: Ben Birchall/PA Wire

The Badger Trust has lost its High Court bid to block a cull of thousands of badgers to tackle tuberculosis in cattle.

The Trust argued Government proposals for two pilot culls in Gloucestershire and Somerset were "very, very controversial" and should be stopped.

But today Mr Justice Ouseley, sitting in London, ruled the legal challenge had failed on all grounds and refused to quash a Government decision last December to allow the culls by farmers and landowners to go ahead.

At a hearing last month, the Trust accused the livestock industry of using badgers as a scapegoat and underestimating the risk of cattle-to-cattle transmission of bovine tuberculosis (bTB).

Wildlife Assistant Kaniz Hyat with Bramble the badger cub Credit: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire

The Badger Trust represents around 60 voluntary badger groups and believes the problem should be dealt with through vaccination.

But the Government argues bTB has now spread to cover large areas of the west and south-west of England, as well as Wales, and badger vaccination is "not a sufficient response to the problem".

The two proposed culling trials are scheduled to begin later this summer. Dr Gordon McGlone is from the Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust. He isn't happy with the decision.