The Badger Trust has hit back at claims from the Welsh NFU that its legal appeal against culling in Wales was “arguable” and was simply launched as a delaying tactic to derail the Welsh TB eradication strategy.

The Badger Trust has hit back at claims from the Welsh NFU that its legal appeal against culling in Wales was “arguable” and was simply launched as a delaying tactic to derail the Welsh TB eradication strategy.
 
The Welsh Assembly Government has postponed its planned badger cull, pending the Court of Appeal's considerationThe comments came from Welsh NFU deputy president Stephen James following the Welsh Assembly Government agreed to postpone the planned badger cull pending the Court of Appeal’s consideration of a challenge to its legality.
 
In a statement, Mr James is reported to have said that the Badger Trust’s grounds of appeal following the judicial review over killing badgers were “no more than ‘arguable'” and that the trust was trying to employ delaying tactics with a view to derailing the TB eradication strategy in Wales.
 
Refuting these claims, trust chairman David Williams said: “Leave to appeal was granted precisely because the case was considered ‘arguable’ under the civil procedure rules, which provide the permission can only be granted in cases where there is ‘a real prospect of success’. In our case permission was granted to bring forward both our points of challenge on the basis that there was a real prospect of success.”
 
He also claimed there was “no question of ‘delaying tactics'” as the precise timing of the hearing was entirely a matter for the court. Further, he pointed out that the postponement of the cull was the decision of the Welsh Assembly Government.
 
He said: “The trust was entirely free to ask for the killing of badgers to be postponed until the end of these proceedings, which we hope will clarify important issues relating to the meaning of the Animal Health Act. This case has wider application even to other species and the law requires clarification.”

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