From the Guardian : Order bans protesters entering private land without permission, but activists say it will not stop them protesting in other ways
A high court judge has made an order aimed at stopping farmers involved in badger culls being harassed and abused.
Mr Justice Turner granted an injunction at a high court hearing in London on Thursday after lawyers representing the National Farmers’ Union (NFU) 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. Anyone found to be in breach could face contempt of court proceedings.
NFU 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, postponed from 2012, were due to start soon in parts of Gloucestershire, Somerset and possibly Dorset.
Lawyers said farmers had already suffered “harassing activity”, which had increased in preparation for interference with the cull and outlined a number of incidents.
Peter Kendall, president of the NFU, 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”.
Jay Tiernan, who was named in court as a representative of the Coalition of Badger Action Groups, said he did not condone unlawful harassment, but said the injunction would not stop protests.
“It will make absolutely no difference whatsoever,” he said 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.”
Tiernan said many members of the public who would not class themselves as “animal rights activists” are opposed to the cull.
England’s badger culls are expected to begin on the night of 26 August, according to sources within Defra.
Police are known to be preparing for the start date and cull opponents claim they have found new hair traps in the cull zones, which are used to estimate badger numbers ahead of the cull.
Rates of TB in cattle have increased significantly in recent years, with 28,000 cattle slaughtered in 2012 at a cost of £100m to taxpayers.
Ministers and the NFU argue that culling badgers, which can transmit the disease, is a necessary part of action against TB but eminent scientists have dismissed the culls as “mindless” and warn that they may make matters worse as badgers flee the shoots. The pilot culls will see about 5,000 badgers killed if completed.
Members of @NAEE_UK are opposed to the cull!