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Brian May calls on Prime Minister to rethink badger cull

25 July 2012

Brian May, Queen guitarist and founder of Save Me has spoken out against the planned badger cull following the High Court’s decision against The Badger Trust’s legal bid.

Mr May was amongst the speakers at a public meeting held at The Brewhouse Theatre in Taunton last Friday evening, 20th July.

The meeting, which was co-hosted by the League Against Cruel Sports, The RSPCA, Secret World, Save Me, Network for Animals, The Humane Society, Care for the Wild International and The Stroud 100, called to rally support against the proposed cull likely to begin in West Somerset and West Gloucestershire later in the year.

Over 250 people attended, including local Member of Parliament for Wells, Tessa Munt.

The meeting was chaired by Joe Duckworth, Chief Executive of the League Against Cruel Sports with speakers Pauline Kidner of Secret World, Gavin Grant, the Chief Executive of The RSPCA, Brian May of Save Me and Graham Godwin-Pearson of The Bow Group, who spoke on the issues and science surrounding the spread of Bovine TB and the culling of badgers.

Brian May condemned the planned cull of badgers in the West Country, instead calling for the vaccination of cattle. Brian spoke for everyone in the room when he said: "All the science tells us that badger culling isn't the right solution; it is hard to understand why the Government is keen to follow and welcome this policy on culling badgers.

"It is rather ludicrous.”

Gavin Grant, Chief Executive of the RSPCA described the challenges ahead saying: "We are fighting powerful institutions; the odds are against us so it's very important we stay united."

Pauline Kidner of Secret World Wildlife Rescue highlighted the devastating effects the slaughter would have on the badger population, she said: "If the culls go ahead, we stand to lose 50% of badgers in the pilot areas and 30% of badgers across the country!”

Ms.Tessa Munt MP for Wells also took to the microphone during the Q&A session to voice her dismay, saying: "Something that gives us a 16 per cent success rate at best is pathetic."
Chief Executive of the League Against Cruel Sports, Joe Duckworth, said Friday's meeting had "sent out a very clear, strong and positive message that many organisations and individuals are united in making sure that this barbaric act is not allowed to proceed.”

At the close of the meeting the panel called on everyone present to tell ten other people; to write to their own MP and to write to the Secretary of State at DEFRA, Caroline Spelman and above all to stay united against the badger cull.

Also on Friday, The Badger Trust made the decision to go ahead with an appeal against the negative Judicial Review decision made by the High Court on 12th July.

The League Against Cruel Sports and co-host organisations are hosting a second public meeting on Wednesday 25th July in Tewkesbury at the George Watson Memorial Hall from 6.30pm. Bill Oddie, conservationist and longstanding Vice President of the League Against Cruel Sports, is confirmed to speak atthe event, along with other speakers.