The Badger Trust asks Liz Truss MP Secretary of State for the Environment for an urgent meeting with to discuss the badger cull policy and the key findings of the Independent Expert Panel report into the safety, effectiveness and humaneness of the badger culls undertaken in 2013 21st July 2014
Dear Secretary of State
MEETING TO DISCUSS NEED FOR INDEPENDENT MONITORING: 2014 PILOT BADGER CULLS
On behalf of the Badger Trust, I would like to congratulate you on your appointment as the new Secretary of State for the Environment.
As you are aware, the Badger Trust is currently in the process of pursuing judicial review proceedings against DEFRA and Natural England in respect of the failure to put in place an Independent Expert Panel for the planned culling of badgers in Gloucestershire and Somerset in 2014. The Badger Trust contends such a panel is essential to oversee the design of data collection, its analysis and interpretation and there is a legitimate expectation such a panel will be used.
Without independent analysis, there can be no proper assessment of the safety, effectiveness and humaneness of the culling operation, something that would be needed before any lawful decision could be taken to continue with further culls around the country. This is particularly the case in the context of the significant failure of the cull during 2013 to meet appropriate standards of both effectiveness and humaneness
In advance of the High Court hearing, which is scheduled to take place on Thursday 21 August, we would like to seek an urgent meeting with you to discuss the badger cull policy and the key findings of the Independent Expert Panel report into the safety, effectiveness and humaneness of the badger culls undertaken in 2013.
We hope that a meeting on this basis would open the possibility of us reaching an agreement on a new level of independent monitoring for the pilot culls scheduled to take place in Gloucestershire and Somerset, without the need for the Judicial Review hearing on the 21 August. We must make it clear that whilst we believe that any culling undertaken this year should be independently monitored, our position remains that the culling of badgers will not have a significant impact on the incidence of bovine TB in cattle. This is a completely separate discussion.
We note that you will be meeting the National Farmers Union to discuss the badger cull policy on the 21 July and trust you will also agree to schedule a meeting with the Badger Trust with similar urgency.
We look forward to hearing from you shortly.
CEO Badger Trust