United Kingdom
Biodiversity, Damages, Environmental Impact Assessments, Wildlife, Evidence, Precaution, Causation, Audits, Wetlands, Torts

In this case, the plaintiff owned a fishery adjacent to the River Cegin and complains that its farmed carps have been victims to the predatory action of otters coming from the River Cegin. The plaintiff blamed the Environmental Agency’s otter enhancement programme for the destruction of its fish stock.

The plaintiff sued the Environmental Agency in front of the High Court and argued that the agency owned him a duty to care to advise him of that the otter enhancement programme would present a risk for its fish stock. The plaintiff also raised the fact that no public consultation had taken place before the implementation of the project within the area.

The High Court dismissed the appeal because it considered that the Environmental Agency was not responsible for the construction of the otter holts of the otter enhancement programme because many bodies had been involved in that project. Also the judge of the court did not consider that the linkage between the damages done, the loss of the carps, and the construction of otter’ holts was foreseeable. Finally, the judge held that no public consultation was required for this kind of environmental programme aiming at enhancing wildlife.

As a result, the judge did not consider that the Environmental Agency had any duty of care under those circumstances.