‘Brian May’s plan to raise millions for badger vaccination’

Posted on February 13, 2013

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Today (13th February), a news item was posted on telegraph.co.uk titled ‘Brian May’s plan to raise millions for badger vaccination’.

‘… Brian May has pledged to raise millions of pounds to vaccinate badgers facing a government cull after claiming the animals deserve respect because they have the ‘same complex family structure as humans.” –

The former guitarist with Queen said the Government’s “bloody” campaign to kill thousands of badgers this summer will not stop the spread of cattle disease bovine tuberculosis (TB) and make farmers “public enemy number one”.

Instead he has formed an alliance called ‘Team Badger’ between his own organisation Save Me and other animal rights groups, including the RSPCA, to vaccinate badgers against disease.

The Badger Vaccination Initiative could cost more than £20 million to catch and inject all the badgers in the proposed cull areas.

Mr May, who says humans need to start respecting badgers and other creatures who live alongside us, said the money will be raised from the public.

“What we need is a healthy population of badgers,” he said. “We have a new initiative to vaccinate badgers to make sure they are healthy and take that component of TB away.” …

The Department for the Environment Food and Rural Affairs is set to announce two pilot areas to cull badgers this summer.

At least 5,000 badgers will be killed in the two areas, most likely in Somerset and Gloucestershire, to stop the animals spreading bovine TB.

Badger vaccination has to be done by trapping and injection. An oral vaccine or a vaccine for cattle is not yet available.

Mr May, who has just bought 115 acres as a “sanctuary for wildlife” in Dorset, insisted culling will make the problem worse by chasing badgers into new uninfected areas.

He said vaccination was a much better way of getting rid of the disease in wildlife and ensuring infected animals do not move in, as badgers are territorial with “complex family structures”.

“All the science points to the fact that culling will not solve the problem and may make it worse.

“The badgers are not the cause[;] obviously they are not, the cause is farming and farming has infected the wildlife population.

“If you have a healthy population of badgers, you have healthy herds of cattle and infection will be kept away.” …

A spokesman for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) said going vegan, as well as vaccination will help.

“While anyone with a grain of sense will support a vaccination programme over a killing spree, the real and most humane solution is to attack the root cause of the problem and stop buying beef burgers and joints of meat.” …’

Read the item in full, view images, and add your comment online at www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/earthnews/9865453/Brian-Mays-plan-to-raise-millions-for-badger-vaccination.html

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