Stop “Genocide in the countryside”



7 September 2013

Queen guitarist Brian May led a night time anti-badger cull protest in Gloucestershire as he called for an end to “genocide in the countryside”. The big-haired campaigner met concerned badger lovers at Corse Lawn before leading a walk around the area to check for wounded black and white critters.

Brian May joined badger patrols last night
Brian May joined badger patrols last night

More than 80 people turned out to meet the figurehead, donning high-visibility jackets emblazoned with “Wounded Badger Patrol”.

He said: “I’m very proud to be among you and think you’re all wonderful for coming out. I have been talk to lots of people, including farmers, who say the cull simply cannot work. I feel in the air the support for us is increasing all the time. Anyone who looks at this honestly knows that this cannot work.”

May spent several hours tramping the countryside in the cull zone, examining setts and checking for wounded animals. Campaigners were at pains to emphasise it was a peaceful protest with participants operating within the law. Police were seen in the area late on Friday night but there are not understood to have been any arrests – following the four detained on earlier in the week.

May told the Echo: “The main reason I’m here is to boost morale and help raise awareness. We have to pull together and I think education is everything. The more people who find out about what’s going on, the more people will realise culling is not the answer.”

Earlier in the day he had called for an end to what he called “genocide in the countryside”.

“It is horrendous,” he said at The George Inn in Newent on Friday afternoon. “This is genocide in the countryside. There are 300,000 people who have signed our petition now and it’s going up by the day. More people are realising that the cull is a waste of time. There is no point to it – it won’t eradicate bovine tuberculosis.”

Across Gloucestershire and Somerset, 5,000 badgers are to be shot in six weeks as part of Defra-approved measures aimed to protect cattle from bovine TB. Some farmers say something has to be done to protect their livelihoods and thousands of cattle from TB, which means they must be slaughtered.

*Four people were arrested and then de-arrested once they had given officers “the necessary information” on Thursday, Gloucestershire police confirmed.