Brian May makes a personal appeal to the public - sent on behalf of Team Badger
Brain May yesterday sent an open letter to both the public and landowners in and around the Forest of Dean to ask them to help stop the badger cull. This was sent on behalf of ‘Team Badger’ a coalition of organisations campaigning against the badger cull.
I am writing to you to make a personal plea to your readers – in particular, landowners in and around the Forest of Dean, and in and close to the area of the imminent proposed ‘Pilot’ Badger Cull.
As you may be aware, a few weeks ago I launched, as part of the Team Badger campaign, an e-petition against the Government’s policy on bovine TB, including pilot badger culls in West Gloucestershire and West Somerset. In just over ten days, our e-petition received over 100,000 signatures – enough to trigger a debate in Parliament. The number of people opposing this slaughter is growing by the day.
All independent scientific research has shown that culling can be of little help in reducing bovine TB, and may, in fact, make things worse, especially for farms on the edge of the cull areas. Many farmers across the nation are now expressing doubts about the wisdom of the Government’s scheme.
As the public debate becomes more informed and intense, the last thing needed is for these dangerous culls to be allowed to start in the pilot areas. Parliament must be given the opportunity to debate the overall approach to bovine TB, before any badgers are unnecessarily and cruelly shot, making an unquantifiable and irreversible impact on the whole balance of Nature in the countryside.
It is in the hands of the participating landowners in the cull areas, including private estates, farms, and major institutions, to bring about a decent pause, while the case is re-examined. They are the ones being encouraged to obtain licences to cull from Natural England, organising and paying for the implementation of a Government policy, which is more and more becoming regarded as fatally flawed. It is notable that the Forest of Dean Council decided recently not to let culling take place on their land.
I therefore personally appeal to the landowners and Councils in these areas urgently to suspend their participation in the trials, until the issue has been debated in the House of Commons, and a proper attempt has been made to evaluate and implement vaccination, not just of badgers, but of cows. Vaccination has been agreed by all parties to be the only hope of eradicating this disease.
In addition, if you, as residents, are worried by the free shooting of badgers in the woods and fields we urge you to let your local councillors know about your concerns.
I hope you will support me in this vitally important campaign.
On behalf of Team Badger