Posted on September 13, 2012


Today (13th September), an item was posted on express.co.uk titled ‘EXCLUSIVE: BRIAN MAY VOWS TO CONTINUE FIGHT AGAINST “DESPICABLE” BADGER CULL’.

‘… QUEEN guitarist and animal rights advocate Brian May has revealed his dismay and disappointment after a last-ditch effort to halt a controversial badger cull failed earlier this week.

Dr May – along with campaigners including the RSPCA, the Badger Trust and the Humane Society – has argued that plans to cull thousands of badgers in the hope of reducing tuberculosis in cattle are scientifically unfounded, unethical and legally flawed.

The implementation of a vaccine – already applied in Wales –­ is seen as a more humane disease deterrent by many, but in the coming weeks pilot culls will be executed in West Gloucestershire and West Somerset.

The Badger Trust, representing around 60 badger groups, said this will lead to around 40,000 animals being “pointlessly killed” over the next four years.

“You could kill all the badgers in Britain and it would not stop the problem of bovine TB in cows,” Dr May argued, speaking exclusively with express.co.uk

“The cull won’t eradicate the problem – they are talking about a possible 16 per cent improvement after 10 years of bloodshed.” …

Despite the 65-year-old admitting he felt “weary” after the failure of Tuesday’s appeal, he added the step had galvanized a change that would spur the nation’s animal lovers into action.

“We’ve realised the only people who can stop this abuse of Britain’s wildlife is us, the public” he said, adding: “We lost a battle, but we will not lose this war against animal cruelty …

“People may dismiss me as a guitarist who doesn’t know what he’s talking about, but I know killing to solve a problem is never the answer.”

Though a Tory voter most of his life, Dr May, who has a PhD in astrophysics, recently denounced David Cameron for his part in the debate – branding the cull a “particularly nasty kind of Conservatism.”

Farming leaders in the Westcountry subsequently accused the rock star of politicising the issue, instead of treating it as an animal welfare problem.

Dr May dismissed the accusations, saying: “I’m trying to do the very opposite, in my opinion animal welfare is above politics – I will support any politician from any party who advocates the better treatment of animals.”

According to the RSPCA, bovine TB affects between four and six per cent of cattle across the nation, causing cattle losses estimated at around £91 million.

Joining Dr May to rally against the cull was the RSPCA’s Chief Executive, Gavin Grant, who argued evidence shows that the mass killing of badgers has “little or no impact” on the transmission of the disease …

After the proposed cull of 70 per cent of badgers in affected areas – many of which would be healthy – there would be a drop in cases of just over half a per cent, Mr Grant said.

He added that the “disastrous policy” could even exacerbate the issue if the cull caused infected badgers to scatter out of the areas they are in, spreading the disease further.

Dr May agreed, saying: “A vaccination which will help from day one can not be compared with a brutal method which could make things worse – it’s a no-brainer.”

The cull has also been criticised heavily by animal welfare experts who suggest that it will be impossible to monitor effectively, leaving many wounded badgers and even encouraging bloodsports.

Wildlife expert Bill Oddie, who has helped release a video showcasing why badgers should be spared, said: “Some of those animals are going to get maimed and they will bleed to death, they will probably crawl underground and die.

“It is truly an horrific situation.”

Mr Grant added: “What we fear is that under the cover of all this, unscrupulous individuals are being given a covert permission to slaughter animals.”…

Meanwhile, activists are threatening to take to the woods and fields in an effort to disrupt the proposed cull.

Volunteers plan to patrol the cull zones to try to and make it impossible for the trial culls to take place.

For now, Dr May has urged others to continue battling for Britain’s wildlife, saying: “People will look back on this cull with incredulity – we should not do this to our animals, we do not have the right, we can not let it happen.” …’

Read the item in full and be the first to add your comment online at www.express.co.uk/posts/view/345737/EXCLUSIVE-Brian-May-vows-to-continue-fight-against-despicable-badger-cull


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