NFU welcomes sentencing of badger cull activist

The National Farmers’ Union (NFU) has welcomed the sentencing of a prominent badger cull activist for breaching an injunction designed to protect those involved in culls.

The NFU was granted the injunction by the High Court in 2013 and hailed its ruling as sending a “clear message” to protestors.

Jay Tiernan, a lead figure in the ‘Stop the Cull’ campaign, was found in contempt in respect of all nine breaches put before the court and given a six-month suspended sentence by the High Court.

NFU president Meurig Raymond said: “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.

“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.”

Tiernan has long been an outspoken critic of the badger culls, writing in The Guardian last year: “The killing of badgers to somehow ‘save’ dairy and beef cows is perverse.

“The dairy cow already leads a short, miserable life of as few as five years compared with a natural life span of 25… But for an iconic, much-loved wild mammal to be annihilated, with the justification being to eke out a few more months of production, is anathema to me.”

Raymond said that Bovine TB caused “emotional and economic misery” for farming families across the UK, and that the NFU would continue fighting the spread of the disease.

He said: “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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