High Court judge has granted the National Farmers’ Union (NFU) and various other claimants an interim injunction to protect farmers from unlawful actions by badger cull protesters.
The injunction will prevent animal rights activists from protesting within 100m of the homes and 25m of businesses of anyone involved in the cull.
The injunction does not prevent peaceful and legal protest, however.
The judgement, which was made days before, comes after farmers have been intimidated and harassed by those opposed to the cull.
NFU president Peter Kendall welcomed the decision, saying: “Let’s be clear from the start, this has never been about preventing people from holding legitimate and legal protests.”
“This injunction is about stopping those intent on totally unacceptable incidents of harassment and threats made against a number of farmers and landowners in Gloucestershire, Somerset and Dorset by those opposed to the badger cull.”
Mr Kendall went on to say that it was unacceptable that law-abiding people should be subjected to “such a sustained campaign of intimidation”, adding: “Some of these families have been subject to initimidation, at times involving very small children, with alarms set off during the night.”
“They’ve been spied on, they’ve been filmed and they have been threatened with private information released on a regular basis.”
“They’ve had abusive phone calls through the night, they’ve had threatening letters and messages, and they have had strangers verbally abuse them at their own homes.”
Jay Tiernan was named as a representative of the Coalition of Badger Action Groups during the court proceedings.
He said that the ruling would not stop protests: “It will make absolutely no difference whatsoever. We certainly do want to reduce the numbers of farmers involved.”
He added: “We will use every available piece of legislation we can to make their lives a misery.”
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