A Commons Standard Note was published on badger culling, detailing the history of the cull planned for this autumn and outlining the permit system in place. It also contained extracts from Defra’s extremely detailed “best practice” guidance on shooting badgers:
Because of the slant of the shoulder blades, the elbow travels somewhat further backwards than in foxes and deer, and consequently when the fore-leg is in the vertical position, the heart/lung area will be temporarily obscured by a robust bony limb. The heavy fringe of fur on the foreleg may further obscure the precise point of aim. The angle of the badger relative to the shooter will also alter the effective size and position of the target area on the surface of the animal.
However, the environment secretary was forced to postpone the cull due to various factors delaying its start. Following this the cull was debated in the Commons, and MPs overwhelmingly voted to abandon it entirely. The result is not legally binding so the cull may yet go ahead next year.
The PM chose to snub advice from the Attorney General, who had told Parliament that the ruling in Scoppola v Italy “imposes an international legal obligation” on the UK to allow certain categories of prisoner the vote. David Cameron went on to state in the Commons that:
“No one should be in any doubt – prisoners are not getting the vote under this government”.
Members of the Church of Scientology brought High Court proceedings against the Registrar General of Births, Deaths and Marriages, claiming that the refusal to recognise Scientology chapels as a “places of worship” for the purpose of solemnising marriages breaches the Equality Act 2010.
A police officer was given a suspended jail term for stealing wild birds’ eggs, including those of several protected species. RSPB inspectors found 649 eggs in his attic, along with data cards on the eggs which had been faked to make it appear that the collection was old. In mitigation, his barrister argued that his client had not been stealing eggs whilst on duty.