Judge in the UK orders protestors to stop harrassing badger cull farmers
on 22/08/2013 18:35:39
Mr Justice Turner granted an injunction at a High Court hearing in London after lawyers representing the National Farmers' Union said farmers had been targeted.
But one protester said the order would not stop protests and said demonstrators aimed to make the lives of farmers involved in badger culls a "misery".
The order includes provisions preventing protesters entering private land without consent and protects farmers from threats and harassment - and anyone found to be in breach could face contempt of court proceedings.
National Farmers' Union lawyers told the judge that in 2011 the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) announced that badger culling would be allowed in an attempt to prevent bovine tuberculosis (TB) in livestock.
They said "pilot" culls were due to start soon in parts of Gloucestershire, Somerset and possibly Dorset.
Lawyers said the cull was controversial and farmers have already been harassed . They said "harassing activity" had increased in preparation for "interference with the cull" and outlined a number of incidents.
National Farmers' Union president Peter Kendall said after the hearing that the injunction was not aimed at stopping lawful protest. He said it was intended to prevent ''unacceptable incidents of harassment''.
But Jay Tiernan, who was named in court as a representative of the Coalition of Badger Action Groups, said he did not condone unlawful harassment.
And he said the injunction would not stop protests.
"It will make absolutely no difference whatsoever," said Mr Tiernan after the hearing. "We certainly do want to reduce the numbers of farmers involved. We like to think of ourselves as being very, very annoying."
He added: "We will use every available piece of legislation we can to make their lives a misery."
Mr Tiernan said many members of the public who would not class themselves as "animal rights activists" are opposed to the cull.