THE Badger Trust has launched legal action against the decision to continue badger culling in Gloucestershire and Somerset this year.

The Trust has filed an application for a judicial review at the High Court to challenge the legality of the decision made Defra Secretary Owen Paterson on April 3.

Mr Paterson announced that the four-year pilots in Somerset and Gloucestershire would continue this year.

But he said there would be no roll-out to new areas, at least until the lessons had been learned from the Independent Expert Panel’s (IEP) report on the first year of the culls.

The Badger Trust is arguing that the continuation of the pilot culls is unlawful because there are no plans to set up any equivalent panel to monitor them.

In 2013, the IEP monitored the safety, effectiveness and humaneness of culling, using controlled shooting, in the two pilot areas.