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Campaigners have lost the latest round of their legal battle over the culling of badgers.
They accused the Government at the Court of Appeal of acting unlawfully by allowing the latest badger culls to go ahead without an independent expert panel (IEP) to monitor whether the animals are being killed in a humane way.
The Badger Trust asked three judges at a recent hearing in London to rule that there was a "legitimate expectation" that an IEP would be put in place.
But, in a decision announced today, Lord Justice Davis, Lord Justice Christopher Clarke and Lord Justice Bean dismissed their case.
The challenge arose from a decision to sanction a second year of "controlled shooting" of free-roaming badgers in Gloucestershire and Somerset as part of efforts to tackle tuberculosis in cattle
The Government and farmers insist culling is necessary to tackle TB in livestock.
Opponents of the badger culls will find out today if their latest legal challenge has been successful.
The Badger Trust is appealing against an earlier ruling that culls in Somerset and Gloucestershire could go ahead without independent monitors.
The trust argues this breaches a government promise.
A national campaign called Stop the Cull was launched today in a bid to stop a proposed badger cull. The rally went ahead despite The Badger Trust losing its High Court challenge against a planned cull in Gloucestershire and West Somerset.
Music legend Brian May says the fight against culling badgers will continue despite the defeat in the courts. The Queen star was speaking at a rally in Bristol to launch a new national campaign called Stop the Cull.
The campaign is a united response by leading animal welfare charities opposed to the proposed badger cull, which is due to take place in Somerset and Gloucestershire later this month.
The Badger Trust says it will not give up after its challenge against government plans to cull thousands of badgers failed at the Court of Appeal. The government is planning two pilot culls, one in West Somerset and the other in West Gloucestershire. The challenge was unanimously rejected.
The Trust says that killing badgers will make no meaningful contribution to tackling the disease, which has been described as the most pressing animal health problem in the UK.
Lord Justice Laws, Lord Justice Rimer and Lord Justice Sullivan unanimously rejected the appeal, which was only concerned with statutory construction.
A challenge to culls which will kill thousands of badgers has failed at the Court of Appeal. The Badger Trust was challenging a decision in July to uphold government proposals for two pilot culls to tackle tuberculosis in cattle: one in West Gloucestershire and the other in West Somerset.