Press Release: Dr Brian May picks up The Observer Ethical Campaigner of the Year Award


Brian May accepting Campaigner of the Year Award


Brian May
Black and white: Brian May with a young badger.
Photograph: Maria Slough/The Pawtraits Exhibition


Our wonderful leader Dr Brian May has picked up the Observer Ethical Campaigner of the year award for the highly successful Team Badger and Save Me campaigns run this year to protect the badger from the unethical, unscientific and flawed badger cull.

The Observer is the world’s oldest Sunday newspaper, part of the Guardian Media Group (with the Scott Trust as sole shareholder). The Observer Ethical Awards were founded nine years ago to celebrate individuals, teams and companies fighting for environmental and social justice in the UK. They have been dubbed the ‘green oscars’. Previous winners include Joanna Lumley, David Attenborough, Jane Goodall, James Lovelock and Malala Yousafzai.

The Campaigner of the year category recognises the public-facing campaigner who has made the biggest difference to Observer readers and put ethical issues on the global agenda.

Presenting the award, June 11, Observer ethical living columnist and BBC One Show presenter Lucy Siegle who launched the awards in 2005 said:

‘Readers voted in their droves for Brian May to receive the Campaigner of the Year for his work on behalf of British wildlife and opposition to the badger cull. They felt he articulated their outrage and concern and never shied away from standing up publicly for his beliefs, whatever or whoever the opposition. They found him a highly impressive and authentic voice.’

Presently in the US preparing for his upcoming concert tour with Queen + Adam Lambert, Brian was represented at the awards by Mrs May, Anita Dobson, and Anne Brummer, for Save Me and Team Badger, however Brian sent a filmed acceptance message in which he said:

‘I am quite overwhelmed to receive the Observer Ethical Awards Campaigner of the Year award. It means a lot to me personally but it also means an incredible amount to the cause that we fight for which is the cause of giving animals a voice. The award also feels like an endorsement, that the Save Me campaign is being taken seriously and that was a long journey in itself. It’s a great feeling to know that people out there really do care about British wild animals and recognise how important it is to take a stance.’

The award is a wonderful recognition for The Save Me team along with all the members of Team Badger which have worked tirelessly throughout the past year to challenge the government and prove unequivocally that the proposed badger cull will not help BTB in cattle. The campaign has taken many twists and turns in its life and has seen a growing number of Conservative and Liberal MP’s change their mind on the impending cull.

Members of Team Badger have campaigned vigorously in all areas. The Badger Trust, Save Me and the Humane Society International have all been involved in legal action to challenge the government. Gloucestershire Against Badger Shooting formed the highly successful wounded badger patrol along with Somerset Against The Cull. Save Me ran an immensely successful petition that achieved just over 304,000 signatures against the badger cull achieving the most signed petition ever created on the government website.

The Conservative run Blue Badger campaign has lobbied with Save Me in parliament and through our growing army of MPs we have to date lobbied for and achieved four debates demonstrating overwhelmingly this is a debate of major public interest.

With increased public support and governmental support the roll out of the badger cull was thwarted, halting more zones from needless culling.

Lately Dr May and Save Me launched BACVI (Badger and Cattle Vaccination Initiative) that has seen farmers and conservationists unite to combat bTB through a programme of vaccination of badgers and cattle as a viable and a credible alternative to the deeply flawed and incredibly disastrous failure of last year’s two trial pilot culls.

Website: Observer Ethical Awards
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