Anti-badger cull groups are keeping up the pressure as the courts decide an appeal against the ruling in favour of the cull.

Judgement in the appeal brought by the Badger Trust, against the High Court's refusal to grant a judicial review on badger culling, is expected to be handed down in Cardiff next week.

The planned cull is part of a programme to tackle bovine TB.

The Badger Trust have now raised a third ground of appeal, that the order applies to the whole of Wales and not just the Intensive Action Pilot Area.

David Williams, Badger Trust chairman, said: “We were grateful to the court for agreeing to an expedited hearing and now await with interest the submissions from the WAG on this vitally important question which has implications not just for Wales but for the whole of the UK.

“In addition we see this case as a test of the power of wildlife law to protect species often at the mercy of ill-considered policies, devastating planning decisions and cruelty.”

Speaking before the hearing, Chief Veterinary Officer for Wales, Dr Christianne Glossop said: "This disease has cost the taxpayer £100m over the last ten years in compensation payments alone, and if we are to be successful in eradicating the disease from Wales, we must tackle all sources of infection, including the reservoir of infection in wildlife. "We are disappointed that the Badger Trust has chosen to appeal. The High Court has already rejected their application for judicial review, comprehensively dismissing their four grounds of challenge.

"The Minister committed to a delay in removing badgers until the judgement has been delivered. She did so in the hope of an early and positive judgement for the Welsh Assembly Government."