Injunction success sends message to unlawful badger cull protesters: NFU

The sentence imposed on an animal rights activist by the High Court for breaching an injunction designed to protect farmers and landowners from harassment and intimidation during the pilot badger culls will send a warning to other people that such action will not be tolerated, the NFU said today.

Jay Tiernan, who has been described as the leader of the ‘Stop the Cull’ movement, was found in contempt of Court and sentenced to six months imprisonment suspended for two years for breaching the terms of a High Court injunction granted to the NFU to protect those involved in the pilot culls, and farmers in and around the pilot cull areas, from unlawful action by people opposed to the cull. Mr Tiernan was found in contempt in respect of all nine breaches put before the court.

NFU President Meurig Raymond said: “We welcome the Court’s finding of contempt in this case, and the sentence imposed for breaching the terms of the High Court injunction. This sends a clear message that the injunction has teeth and such action will not be tolerated.

“We recognise that the badger cull is controversial and we have never sought to stop lawful protest. But we cannot condone actions designed to harass, intimidate and threaten farmers and others protected by the injunction who are doing nothing illegal. That is why we applied for the injunction in the first place, and why we felt compelled to bring these proceedings against Mr Tiernan for breaching the terms of the injunction.”

“Mr Tiernan has publically said he doesn’t care if farmers or people living in the cull areas are frightened by the actions of activists if it meant people pulled out of the cull or didn’t sign up for it. He has endorsed the use of military-style tactics to disrupt operations, and treated the High Court injunction, which was granted to stop exactly this kind of behaviour, with utter contempt.”

“Today’s finding sends a clear message that this kind of behaviour against people carrying out a legal and licensed activity as part of a Government policy to help deal with bovine TB will not be tolerated. Bovine TB continues to cause emotional and economic misery for farming families across large parts of the country. The NFU’s focus remains the same as it always has been – the control and eradication of this disease based on the best scientific advice, and using all available options, so we have healthy badgers, healthy cattle and a healthy countryside.”

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