NFU changes tack on TB legal challenge

The NFU has decided not to pursue a judicial review of DEFRA secretary Hilary Benn’s decision not to allow a badger cull in a bid to control bovine TB.

The union said guidance from Natural England had led it to believe a judicial review was not the best way to challenge the decision, announced by Mr Benn in July.

However it could look at the possibility of a review on a separate point of law, it said.

NFU legal adviser Nina Winter said the union had not abandonded the idea of challenging the policy now looking at other ways to tackle it.

“The guidance from Natural England challenged the legal basis of the review so we are looking at alternative options to give us the best legal footing,” she said.

Martin Haworth, NFU director of policy, said: “We remain committed to supporting a challenge to what we believe is an unlawful restriction on producers’ ability to take action to prevent the spread of TB on their farms.”