Plea to Queen legend Brian May to help save Sellafield deer


27 January 2014 by Jenny Barwise

Animal rights campaigners fighting to stop a herd of deer being culled have turned to legendary Queen guitarist Brian May for help.

Sellafield has revealed that the wild roe deer, trapped between two fences at the nuclear plant, are to be shot, sparking outrage among many. The company says it is acting on the advice of experts from the Deer Initiative Partnership (DIP) who say the most humane and practical course of action is to cull the animals.

Since the news broke, dozens of people have taken to the Facebook page, Name it & Shame it in Whitehaven, with many pledging to write to the rock legend, who famously headed a campaign against the culling of badgers. Those behind the campaign are lobbying May, a renowned animal rights campaigner, to see if he can add further weight to their calls.

However, a Sellafield spokesman said that the company is unlikely to change its mind and that the planned cull will take place between February and April.

A hot topic among protestors is how Sellafield managed to build two new security fences at the site’s south perimeter, without realising the deer were in there. Joanne England wrote: “I can’t see how they (Sellafield) managed to build a fence without even spotting one.” And John Tear said: “Absolute disgrace. They should never have got into this situation and could still recover the situation if the will was there, but sounds as if it is easier to kill them.”

When asked why the animals were not discovered, the company said: “Deer will only leave an area of their own accord if the habitat outside is more attractive and, if disturbed, will run to the nearest dense cover and hide, rather than leaving the area entirely. As a result, deer are commonly enclosed on building and industrial sites when these include areas of thick undergrowth, and this is the case at Sellafield.”

The decision to cull the deer came after DIP advised that they are not animals which are easy to round up, as they tend to run and hide when spooked. “The experts felt that the deer would try and hide deep i n the thicket and, in all likelihood, cause themselves serious injury in doing so,” said a Sellafield spokesman.

Once the exact number of deer has been determined, the cull will take place twice daily over 15 days between February and April. The culling team will include a veterinary consultant in the welfare of deer and a DIP representative.

Campaigners are urging people to contact countryside campaigner Brian May, who recorded a song against badger culling…