The Badger Trust is in court today to challenge the Government over what it claims is a lack of independent monitoring of badger culling trials.
The welfare group is seeking a High Court ruling that there has been an unlawful failure to place an independent expert panel (IEP) to oversee the second year of the trials.
Anti-cull campaigners argue a court ruling is required against the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) before the cull is rolled out across the country.
As well as the hearing inside the court, protesters will gather outside the Royal Courts of Justice in London.
Dominic Dyer, the trust’s chief executive and policy advisor at Care for the Wild International, said in a statement: “Defra have done all they can to prevent this judicial review case going to the High Court and have failed.
“Their refusal to put in place any independent monitoring of the badger culls, due to take place in Gloucestershire and Somerset over the next few months against the advice of the independent expert panel they set up, is a national disgrace.
“The caring, compassionate British public will not remain silent, while poorly trained National Farmers’ Union contract gunmen move through our countryside at night shooting badgers with rifles and shotguns without any independent monitoring or scrutiny.
“We know from last year’s culls many badgers were wounded and suffered long, painful deaths in a disastrous operation, which proved a complete and utter failure on scientific, economic and humaneness grounds.”