05 September 2013
Brian May will visit the Gloucestershire badger cull zone on Friday.
May, the Queen guitarist, will visit the Gloucestershire cull site to meet with locals to discuss their views of the trials taking place and to align with peaceful protests being staged by anti-cull activists.
May will also take a night walk with protesters who have set themselves up around the sites in peaceful protest and to monitor the way the cull is being conducted.
May’s Team Badger campaign has fought to oppose the cull stating the Government’s measures are ‘inhumane, unscientific, misguided, and likely to make the situation worse for farmers’.
An online petition introduced by May to oppose the cull has become the most signed ever on the official Government website, with 296,958 people having added their name to the e-petition since it was started in August 2012 and it is still gathering signatures.
May said: “It remains a clear indication of the depth and continued growth of public outrage over DEFRA Secretary of State Owen Paterson’s plan to kill thousands of badgers in the UK. It’s also now the most unpopular thing this Government has ever done, if their own petition website is any measure.”
The current culls aim to assess if culling can be done effectively, safely and humanely, with plans to roll out the scheme more widely.
May added: “We may be too late to prevent this tragedy happening in west England. But we will continue to stand against this. The cull is an irreversible tragedy for our wildlife. Randomly slaughtering 70 per cent of badgers will destroy them forever, bringing about immense suffering for these highly intelligent mammals. But the cull is a tragedy for farmers and their cattle too. The NFU have managed to convince a large portion of the farming community that this scheme offers them relief from their troubles, but there will be no way to ascertain if culling has been effective. Indeed, Owen Paterson has stated that he expects to be culling badgers in 25 year’s time, underlining the fact that culling cannot eradicate TB. Contrary to insistence of late, culling has NEVER eradicated TB in any other country in the world.”
May asserts: “The cull has no basis in science – which simply means it will not work.”
A Defra spokesman said: “Scientists have agreed that culling badgers where bovine TB is widespread reduces the level of disease. Many species can be infected with bovine TB, but only cattle and badgers are effective in spreading the disease. If we had a vaccine for cattle we would use it, but it is currently illegal under European law. We are working with the European Commission to make a vaccine available but we know this is at least 10 years away and we cannot wait while this disease continues to march across England.”