THE chairman of the Burley-based Badger Group has spoken of his relief after the Badger Trust charity won the right to a judicial review over the government’s plans for a badger cull.

Mr Justice Irwin granted permission for a review of plans by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) to allow badgers to be killed in England as part of a programme to eradicate bovine tuberculosis.

The case is likely to be heard at the High Court of London in June 2012.

Badger Group chairman Martin Noble said he is “delighted and relieved” at the news.

“I believe the move to cull was politically motivated to pacify the farming community,” he said.

“Evidence suggests that culling will not work and we support the Badger Trust in its fight in the court against culling.

“The Badger Trust has put together a compelling case which has convinced the judge that a review is required at this stage.”

Badger Trust solicitor Gwendolen Morgan of Bindmans LLP said: “We are pleased the court has given the Badger Trust’s challenge the green light on all three grounds.

“The badger cull as proposed would make matters worse at great cost to farmers, badgers and rural communities.”

The charity says badger culling will not prevent the spread of disease, as required for the issue of licences to kill badgers under the law, which protects them, but will only limit the spread.

A Defra spokesman said TB infection forced the slaughter of 25,000 cattle in 2010 alone and was taking a "terrible toll on our farmers and rural communities".

"Nobody wants to cull badgers," she said. "But no country in the world where wildlife carries TB has eradicated the disease in cattle without tackling it in wildlife too."