Brian May brings Team Badger – the biggest animal welfare consortium ever – to London to save Britain’s badgers
Today, Wednesday 19th September, Queen guitarist and animal welfare champion, Brian May, shoulder-to-shoulder with the heads of every major animal welfare group, will launch the Team Badger campaign in London with a giant billboard poster on Cromwell Road, at one of the capital’s busiest junctions.
The Team Badger campaign is an unprecedented coalition of the UK’s leading animal welfare organisations, including the League Against Cruel Sports, Save Me, International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), RSPCA, Network for Animals, Political Animal Lobby, The Badger Trust, Born Free Foundation, Humane Society International, David Shepherd Wildlife Trust, Animals Aid, VIVA, Care for the Wild International, Stroud 100, Gloucestershire Against the Cull, Conservatives against the Cull, PETA and RETHINK bovine TB, who have all united against the Government’s imminent cull of badgers in England, which it is undertaking in an attempt to address Bovine TB in cattle.
The Cromwell Road billboard marks the start of a coordinated campaign to stop the planned cull of badgers in England, with the aim of raising public awareness and collecting signatures on a government petition to force a debate in parliament.
Brian May, who set up Save Me in 2010 to campaign on animal welfare issues in the UK said, “We’re not going to let this drop. The most powerful animal organisations in the UK have united to oppose this inhumane and misguided cull of badgers. It’s scientifically, practically, and ethically indefensible and it is against the wishes of the majority of people of this country.
“This cull will not solve the farmers' problem; it must be abandoned in favour of vaccination - which is the only long-term hope for eradicating bovine TB.
“This billboard is the tip of the iceberg. We won’t rest until every man, woman and child in Britain knows about the tragedy unfolding in their countryside, and the Government realises it is making a terrible mistake.”
The billboard features a painting of a badger called Hope - created by Pat Willliams, of the Badger Trust.
Brian May and Save Me chief executive Anne Brummer also collaborate on Harper Asprey Wildlife Rescue, in Surrey, which has rescued thousands of injured, sick, and orphaned animals in the last few years, returning them to the wild for a second chance.
The consortium of Charities has started a new petition on the Government's own website - titled 'Stop the Badger Cull'. The portal for those wishing to sign the petition is www.teambadger.org.
“Our message is simple”, said May, “Don’t let this happen. Sign the petition. Let your MP know you are opposed. The badger is an iconic symbol of our British wildlife. And every single individual is an intelligent sentient being, part of a family, and with feelings very much like ours. Badgers have been living in the British Isles since thousands of years before Man arrived. Let’s not be the generation that stood by and watched them be slaughtered. Save the Badgers for their own sake, and for the world our grandchildren will inherit. "
May added that his personal commitment to solving the Bovine TB problem remains intact. “I personally, along with the RSPCA, have now made arrangements to visit our representatives in the European Parliament next month, to present our case to be allowed to vaccinate cows. I invite the NFU to join us, to confirm that at least they, if not the Government, are serious about the long-term ERADICATION of this disease from Britain, rather than a piece of window-dressing, designed to convince farmers that ‘Something is Being Done’, which will have virtually no effect, other than to alienate farmers from the British Public.”
Speaking today on behalf of the League Against Cruel Sports, Joe Duckworth, Chief Executive says:“The Government's decision fails to recognise that badger culling is an unsupported approach to tackling bovine TB and one that will leave the majority of the TB problem present, even if it reaches its most optimistic targets.The League and our other coalition partners remain committed to ensuring that the indiscriminate culling of badgers is not allowed to go ahead in England.”
Robbie Marsland, UK Director of the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), said: "IFAW is appalled by the decision to press ahead with the cruel and pointless killing of thousands of British badgers. We are proud to stand alongside Brian May and other groups, united in our opposition to this unacceptable slaughter."
Mark Jones, Veterinarian and Executive Director of HSI UK, said, "Shooting huge numbers of badgers at night will not solve the problem of TB in cattle, and it won’t help farmers. What it will do is decimate badger populations and cause untold suffering to many thousands of individual badgers. Humane Society International/UK is challenging the government through the Bern Convention, and is proud to stand alongside our partners in team Badger to oppose this disastrous policy."
Gavin Grant, Chief Executive of the RSPCA, said: “The RSPCA and many other organisations oppose the cull of badgers for both scientific and animal welfare reasons. The campaign is rapidly gaining public support and over 100,000 objections to the cull have been recorded to date. The Government should look at the science, the results achieved in Wales and change their policy to one of vaccination – let’s cure and not kill.”
To sign the petition: http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/38257
Notes to Editors
- There will be a photocall / media opportunity on Wednesday 19th September at 11am Ad site 5, West Cromwell Road, Intersection with Warwick Road, (West Kensington overpass) London, SW5. Please note there is no stopping for cars at this site
- Artwork for the billboard and national press ads is available from firstname.lastname@example.org or +55 (21) 9361-1197 / + 55 21 3344 4272
- For more information - Phil Symes, PR for Brian May, email@example.com / +55 (21) 9361-1197 or + 55 21 3344 4272 Sean Curtis Ward, Media Trust, firstname.lastname@example.org / +44 (0) 20 7871 5600