WESTERN DAILY PRESS
3 April 2014
Queen guitarist and prominent campaigner against the cull, Brian May, said: “The Government’s shambolic reaction to the bovine TB problem limped on today, as Paterson announced that the random killing of badgers in Gloucester and Somerset will repeated this summer, while plans for the ’roll-out’ to other counties is shelved.
“I personally find myself disgusted that (Prime Minister David) Cameron and Paterson insult us all by continuing this spectacular failure, which can only get more and more embarrassing for them.”
“It’s almost impossible to conceive how a Government can put an independent expert panel in place, and tell the public that their next decision will be based on its report, and then, receiving the panel’s decision that the cull is both inhumane and ineffective, still carry on the killing.”
RSPCA head of public affairs David Bowles said: “We are delighted the Environment Department (Defra) have started to listen to the strong feelings of the public, their MPs and the scientific evidence that the culls were ineffective and inhumane. But there is so much more that still needs to be done. The Secretary of State Owen Paterson must now listen to the voice of Parliament and the public and discard the culls in Somerset and Gloucestershire.
“More than 1,800 badgers were culled last year as part of the Government’s misguided policy in these two counties and to continue with them would be both irrational and pointless.
“The RSPCA, alongside many other organisations, has always maintained the methods used in the cull would not be humane and that culling is not the answer to effectively controlling bovine TB We firmly believe that the use of vaccination along with improved biosecurity will lead to a decrease in new cases of bovine TB, and both farmers and wildlife campaigners can move forward in tackling this disease together.”
Brian May added: “Of course, Paterson’s assertion that ‘we have learned lessons from this’ is quite laughable, since there is there is every indication that things will get worse rather than better the second time around.
“And so the Government’s senseless face-saving limps on. Of course, to them, it’s not senseless, because it keeps up the appearance of pandering to the NFU, keeping their part of the deal that was evidently struck long before they came to power, a deal which will ultimately lose them the rest of the electorate.
“Bring it on, guys. Let’s see how really unpopular you can make yourselves. Meanwhile we will watch as the innocent and mainly perfectly healthy badgers limp away, wounded and dying. Until vaccination becomes priority, the disgusting disease called bovine TB is the only winner.”