Save Me Trust seeks permission to intervene in Judicial Review of decision to suspend culling in Derbyshire

On 21st February 2020 the Save Me Trust, represented by Mr Simon Farrell QC, applied to the High Court to intervene in the ongoing Judicial Review challenge to the Government’s decision to suspend badger culling in Derbyshire. The case follows a claim by the National Farmers Union against the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and Natural England after the Government put the brakes on plans to issue licenses to cull badgers in the county. Derbyshire has one of the most active vaccination programmes in England, while badger culling has not been authorised in the county since 2005. Had the planned cull gone ahead it would have significantly undermined the well-established vaccination programmes operating in the area. Save Me Trust therefore support the Government’s decision to suspend the cull. We have filed expert scientific evidence from Professor Rosie Woodroffe with the Court and have asked for the opportunity to put forward submissions that will emphasise the need to move away from culling towards non-lethal methods of controlling bovine TB. The case will be heard on 1st April 2020.

Brian May had a skype meeting with the legend that is Greta Thunberg just hours before he  flew to Korea for the start of the Far East leg of the Bohemian Rhapsody Tour. Greta spoke to us from Switzerland.

The skype meeting included Greta’s father Svante, who runs the Greta Thunberg Fund and Anne Brummer CEO of Brians Save Me Trust.

Greta is well known for galvanising the planets youth into action and getting climate change on the international agenda by irritating governments to wake up to their responsibilities. Climate change is a global issue and her energy  and unique way of campaigning has played a vital part in the global movement. 

The Save Me Trust is primarily concerned with giving  wildlife a voice and maintaining sustainable habitats.

The Save Me Trust and the Greta Thunberg Fund plan to meet face to face in the next few months to see how they can drive issues that are foremost to both organisation.

The Skype meeting was informative and relaxed, Greta played Bohemian Rhapsody on her guitar. Who knew she could play guitar!

It was a  great first connection and something both organisations are looking to build on in the coming months for the benefit of wildlife and humans. 


Contact [email protected] for further information 

Following George Eustice’s Ministerial statement today to confirm that he intends to enable badger control measures in the LRA (Low Risk Areas) we issued the following statement: 

Save Me Trust is saddened to hear George Eustice’s announcement today that he will enable badger culling in the Low Risk areas of England.

The policy of culling badgers is deeply flawed and has yet to produce any evidence that it is reducing Bovine TB in cattle.  Extending badger culling into Low Risk Areas of England will not remove Bovine TB from cattle herds and all available science shows it will make matters worse.

The disease lies latent and undetected by the current tests, wherever the cattle are based, and until we remove Bovine TB from the herd, both cattle and wildlife will continue to suffer from this devastating disease.

This decision makes no sense and does not relate to the science. Culling has no benefits for farmers, cattle or wildlife and will put a further cost burden on taxpayers.

Save Me Trust remains committed to finding a viable solution to Bovine Tb. We will continue to work on our project farm in Devon that has become officially TB free after many years of chronic breakdown without the killing of any wildlife.

This is the future of Hunting! NO Cruelty, NO Lies, NO Kill 

This Boxing Day, hunts will gather to parade in villages across England and Wales for the traditional Boxing Day meet. But this year there will be a new atmosphere - a wind of change. A few months ago there was an attempt by Cameron and his merry men to undermine the Hunting Act with a ‘Statutory Instrument’. It would have reopened the door to full scale blood hunting but it was foiled, not just by Cameron’s political opponents, but also by a courageous band of Tory MP’s who refused to be bullied into supporting an act of Parliament which would take away the protection of our wildlife from cruelty.  

Read more

Two leading Scientists, Christl A. Donnelly Imperial College London, and Rosie Woodroffe, Institute of Zoology, London reveal in an article, published today for magazine that the latest badger culls unlikely to stop TB.

Read more

Dr Brian May, founder of the Save Me Trust, will be taking part in the bTB “read test” with Crediton, mid-Devon, farmer Malcolm Huxtable on Thursday 29th October. This is being filmed for BBC Inside Out. Dr May, together with Anne Brummer, CEO of The Save Me Trust, has campaigned tirelessly for an end to the badger culls, and runs a badger vaccination project known as BACVI (Badger and Cattle Vaccination Initiative) that works with farmers, primarily in the South West. There has been a lot of criticism from farmers in respect of the accuracy of the tuberculin skin test. To carry out a skin test the tester has to clip two small areas of skin in the middle of the animal’s neck, measure the thickness of both sites using callipers and inject into the skin of the neck with a small volume of each tuberculin.

Read more

The Save Me Trust’s most recent legal challenge to the government’s badger culling programme was turned down this week, when our application for a Judicial Review was denied on a appeal by a single judge.

But the fight against this ineffective and cruel programme continues on all fronts. In particular DEFRA’s own recently published figures show that the incidence of bTB was in any event declining in both Dorset and Gloucestershire in the 3 years before the culls even began. The decision of the government to proceed with the culling in these areas appears to be contrary to DEFRA’s own policy published in 2011 which promised in terms that no culling would take place if the incidence of bTB was falling in a specific place. 

Read more

The killing of Cecil the Lion lured from his home in Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park by American Trophy Hunter Walter Palmer in July this year, shocked and outraged people around the world.

Cecil was a popular figure within the park, head of his own pride and the subject of a research project by Oxford University's Wildlife Conservation Research Unit (WildCRU).  Although Cecil had a conspicuous radio collar around his neck, making it clear that he was not ‘wild’, Palmer shot him with a crossbow, followed the wounded and suffering lion for hours, and finally killed, decapitated and skinned him, claiming his black mane was the trophy he most wanted on his wall. Dr Brian May’s Save Me Trust are calling for the creation of a “Cecil’s Law” in the UK - a fitting legacy for this magnificent creature who, by his death, opened millions of eyes to the disgusting 'sport' of trophy hunting, and ‘canned hunting’ in which wild animals are actually bred in captivity purely to be slaughtered for fun. 

Read more

“Today the Save Me Trust launched a Judicial Review in the High Court in London challenging the legality of Natural England’s recent decisions to authorise the culling of badgers in Western Gloucestershire, Western Somerset and Dorset.  The decisions complained of are irrational and unlawful  because the culling of badgers, as being authorised, cannot reasonably be expected to prevent the spread of disease. The culls as they are being, and have been conducted in the previous 2 years, cannot achieve the statutory purpose of preventing the spread of Bovine TB and are thus unlawful. The consultations carried out in Western Gloucestershire, Western Somerset and Dorset prior to the grant of the culling licences were so inadequate so as to be unfair and contrary to the principle of legitimate expectation. The decisions by Natural England to authorise the culling are also unlawful on this ground. The Save Me Trust, who is represented by Simon Farrell QC, is seeking orders from the Court that Natural England’s decisions should be quashed and declared unlawful. It is expected that the case will be heard soon as the Save Me Trust have requested an expedited hearing”

Anne Brummer

CEO Save Me Trust 

"The Save Me Trust will tomorrow renew its application for permission to apply for a judicial review of Natural England's decisions to activate and grant badger cull licences in Somerset, Gloucestershire and Dorset. In due course, the High Court will consider the application at an oral hearing"

Anne Brummer

CEO Save Me Trust 


Lawyers acting for the Save Me Trust today sent a letter before action to Natural England requiring them to revoke the licences to kill badgers held by the cull operators in Gloucestershire, Somerset and Dorset. Badgers are a protected species. Unless an exception applies, killing a badger is a criminal offence under the Protection of Badgers Act 1992. One exception is when the badger is killed for the purpose of preventing the spread of disease, and the killer has a licence issued by Natural England. 

Read more

The Save Me Trust confirmed that the lawfulness of the decisions to issue the licences today will be challenged by a Judicial Review in the High Court. To continue the culling of badgers is unlawful as it does not rationally serve the statutory purpose which permits the killing of badgers only to achieve the aim of preventing the spread of disease. Additionally, there has been a fundamental failure in the consultation process, a logically flawed approach in calculating badger numbers and a failure in Gloucestershire - in any event - to meet its minimum targets in 2013 and 2014.

Dr May said, “We are all hugely disappointed that the Government has decided to continue its cull policy, despite Natural England's Scientific Advisor branding the badger cull 'an epic failure’. The government should quit now, and save the taxpayer more fruitless expense”.

Read more

A full statement will be issued here on our current legal challenge against Natural England and the Badger Cull on Tuesday 1st September. 

Anne Brummer

Save Me Trust


Lawyers instructed by the Save Me Trust have today written to the Chief Executive and the Chief Legal Advisor of Natural England warning them that if any licences to cull badgers are either activated in Gloucestershire and Somerset or any new licences granted for this purpose anywhere, then the lawfulness of the decisions to do so will be challenged by a Judicial Review in the High Court. To continue the culling of badgers is unlawful as it does not rationally serve the statutory purpose which permits the killing of badgers only to achieve the aim of preventing the spread of disease. Additionally there has been a fundamental failure in the consultation process, a logically flawed approach in calculating badger numbers and a failure in Gloucestershire in any event to meet its minimum targets in 2013 and 2014.

Anne Brummer, 

CEO Save Me Trust