Brian May announces badger vaccination plans for Dorset site following cull halt


2 December 2013 by M Manning

Brian May plants tree in Dorset
Dr Brian May famed guitarist with rock group Queen and founder of Save Me is delighted to have planted the first oak sapling at Shitterton, Dorset at the start of the creation of ‘May’s Wood’.
Picture: Steve Roberts 20130928 Copy: Tina Rowe.

Brian May is planning to vaccinate badgers against TB at his Dorset Save Me woodland.

BRIAN MAY has announced plans to vaccinate badgers on his Dorset farm against TB following the announcement of the halt of the Gloucester cull. Queen guitarist and founder of Save Me, Dr May, has established a 157-acre community woodland at Shitterton, Bere Regis.

The government announced on Friday an immediate halt to the badger cull taking place under an extension license in Gloucester. Under the license, granted by Natural England in October, the cull was due to continue until 18th December.

Save Me had earlier in the week filed an “extremely urgent” High Court Judicial Review Claim calling for an immediate end to the cull, claiming the decision by Natural England to grant an eight-week extension in Gloucestershire was unreasonable and decided against the advice of its own scientific advisor. The action was refused.

Dr May said: “Now that the failure of this whole shameful badger cull shambles can be seen so clearly seen, in spite of many moves of the goalposts, it must be time to abandon the concept, and get on with the only strategy which can ultimately succeed in eradication of bovine TB – vaccination of badgers and other wildlife, and prioritisation of work to license the vaccine for cattle.”

Save Me says it will continue to raise funds for vaccination programs and Brian May and the organisation’s CEO Anne Brummer will become qualified lay vaccinators to treat badgers on their Dorset site.

TB is crippling the dairy industry, and the NFU says it remains 100 per cent committed to rolling-out badger culling in areas where the disease is rife.

South West regional director Melanie Squires said: “Controlling badger populations is absolutely necessary if we are going to stop this disease spreading further around the country. It is a policy that is vital to farming families and their businesses,” she said.