8 September 2013 by Rod Minchin
The Queen guitarist joined supporters at one of the pilot sites, near Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire, on Friday.
The controversial West Country pilot culls have begun against huge opposition because the Government believes it will tackle the issue of tuberculosis in cattle, believed to be spread by badgers. About 5,000 badgers are expected to be killed over the next six weeks.
The National Farmers Union confirmed that the West Somerset cull began last week and opponents believe the shooting in west Gloucestershire started on Tuesday. May, 66, a member of the Team Badger campaign, launched an online petition, winning more signatures than any other on the official Government website, with 300,000 people adding their name. He said: “I’m here to support our people on the ground doing what they can to observe and try to save the lives of badgers.
“I believe the Government is doing something very immoral in our name, using our money. “Once the country sees what is going on with the brutality and the senselessness of this Government policy I don’t believe Britain will stand for it.We are a decent animal-loving people. It’s a desperate situation and a bloody situation. If this rolls out all through England it’s a disaster. The only thing that will solve the bovine TB problem is vaccination, for badgers and cows. Successive governments have been dragging their feet.”
Gloucestershire Police said yesterday that four people had been arrested on suspicion of aggravated trespass in the Forthampton area at about 2am.