News and Media Coverage

 

Hundreds attend Taunton anti-badger cull protest march

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-somerset-33946471

 

Badger cull protesters prepare to march in Somerset today
http://www.westerndailypress.co.uk/Badger-cull-protesters-prepare-march-Somerset/story-27609111-detail/story.html#ixzz3itFhKgQ0 

 

WE HAVE SABOTAGED BADGER CULL BEFORE IT STARTS , SAYS ACTIVISTIS 

http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/environment/wildlife/article3704844.ece

 

BADGER VACCINE WORKS FOUR YEAR STUDY 

http://news.bbc.co.uk/democracylive/hi/house_of_lords/newsid_9777000/9777131.stm

 

BADGER TRUST LETTER TO NATURAL ENGLAND 

 

Badger Trust send letter before claim as cull costs spiral. Government called upon to now do the right thing and reconsider.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/oct/21/badgers-bovine-tuberculosis?newsfeed=true

 

VACCINATION OF CATTLE ONLY MONTHS AWAY 

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2220734/This-cruel-badger-cull-pointless--I-prove-says-Queen-guitarist-Brian-May.html?ito=feeds-newsxml

 

VETS OPEN LETTER TO PATTERSON 

http://www.hsiuk.org/assets/pdfs/badgers_VetLetter_AnimalWelfar_12Oct12.pdf

 

Costs spiral out of control and Defra get confused

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-19981171

http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/2012/10/lefts-opposition-badger-culls-ignores-plight-our-farmers

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/earthnews/9618577/Brian-May-compares-killing-badgers-to-killing-people-with-Aids.html

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/oct/18/cost-badger-cull-u-turn?newsfeed=true

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2219914/Fresh-doubts-controversial-badger-cull-ministers-costs-spiral.html?ito=feeds-newsxml

http://www.itv.com/news/story/2012-10-18/badger-cull/

http://www.businessinsider.com/uk-badger-cull-2012-10

http://www.thisiscornwall.co.uk/Ministers-deny-U-turn-badger-cull/story-17122935-detail/story.html

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/agriculture/farming/9618598/Badger-cull-right-or-wrong.html

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/oct/19/cattle-movement-bovine-tb-testing?newsfeed=true

 

Top Scientist slam the cull

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2217545/Top-scientists-blast-planned-badger-cull-mindless-ministers-killings.html?ito=feeds-newsxml

http://www.guardian.co.uk/theobserver/2012/oct/14/letters-observer

 

Team Badger at European Parliament and Commission

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-somerset-19925166

http://bearder.eu/en/article/2012/621030/queen-star-s-brussels-bid-to-curb-the-cull

http://www.otsnews.co.uk/arlene-joins-guitarist-brian-may-to-stop-the-badger-cull/

http://www.pointfm.co.uk/blog/?p=595 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-19921298

http://uk.reuters.com/article/2012/10/12/us-britain-wildlife-badgers-idUKBRE89B0L120121012

http://www.thisisdevon.co.uk/Queen-s-Brian-takes-badger-cull-lobby-Brussels/story-17066056-detail/story.html

http://www.xperedon.com/news_1795 

http://www.eureporter.co/2012/10/labour-meps-join-gui/

http://worldnewsforlife.wordpress.com/2012/10/11/brussels-labour-meps-join-guitarist-brian-may-to-stop-unnecessary-badger-cull/

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/sep/12/activists-disrupt-bager-cull?newsfeed=true

 

 

4th October

Outrageous Farmer

http://www.independent.ie/national-news/cruel-farmer-jailed-for-bovine-tb-fraud-345351.html

 

3rd October 

Organic boycot poll

http://www.careforthewild.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/Badger-cull-poll-results-PR-01-10-12-final2.pdf

 

3rd October 

Farmers are doing to themselves 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/oct/04/farming-shortcomings-badger-cull-bovine-tb

 

2nd October 

Man shaves his head in protest to the cull.

http://www.thisissussex.co.uk/Badger-man-s-hair-protest-culling/story-17025640-detail/story.html

 

2nd October

Farmer shows himself up on the Alan Titchmarsh Show 

 

Brian May discusses Badgers on Alan Titchmarsh 2 Oct 2012

 

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More about the farmer from the video refusing to conply with regulations 

http://www.farmersguardian.com/home/livestock/farmer-has-no-intention-of-complying-with-nvz-rules/36685.article

 

1st October 2012 

Twekesbury Council Vote to "No culling on their Land"

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-19784170

 

29th September 2012

NFU Comments on the cull

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/sep/30/badger-cull-bovine-tb-farmers?newsfeed=true

  

 

29th September 2012

Financial Times comments on our wonderful billboard - Brilliant

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/cceda1a2-082e-11e2-a2d8-00144feabdc0.html

  

 

29th September 2012

The Telegraph

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/earthnews/9573907/New-head-of-RSPCA-vows-to-take-on-Government-over-hunting-and-badger-cull.html

 

 

29th September 2012

The Forest of Dean Council vote 30-1 to stop culling in their land 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-gloucestershire-19753055

 

 

29th September 2012

Ed miliband is aganst the cull

http://www.thisisgloucestershire.co.uk/Labour-leader-Ed-Miliband-Gloucestershire-badger/story-17010093-detail/story.html

28th September 2012

Farmer Steve Jones talks to the Independant about preventing TB in cattle herds

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/sep/28/badger-cull-bovine-tb

27th September 2012

Brian May and the Telegraph 

Brian May: badger cull could cost David Cameron his job

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25th Septrmber 2012

Badger Debate BBC2 Newsnight

http://www.rspb.org.uk/ourwork/farming/policy/systems/livestock/badgers.aspx 

Badger Debate BBC2 Newsnight 25 September 2012

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19th Septrmber 2012

RSPB statement preventing culling on their Land 

http://www.rspb.org.uk/ourwork/farming/policy/systems/livestock/badgers.aspx

20th September 2012 Farmers weekly 

George Lyon

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18th September 2012 BBC Breakfast 

Brian May discusses Badger Cull on Breakfast 18/09/12

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6th September 2012 Country File

Report Proposed Badger Cull (Countryfile 16/09/12) - SIGN PETITION/STOP THE CULL

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8th September 2012 Bristol Team Badger

Brian May Speaks to Rod Liddle about the Cull

Brian May on Badger Cull with Rod Liddle

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ukbygM-WcPE

Brian May Speaks to Alan Titchmarsh January 2012 

Brian May appeal against badger cull Alan Titchmarsh Show 27 Jan 2012

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZtRkf744yTU

Brian May Public Meeting in Tauton 

Brian May interview Team First Badger Public Meeting, Taunton, 20 July 2012

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_xBjo6VUqKE"Kill the Cull Not Englands Badgers 

Kill the Cull, Not England's Badgers 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_55z1AgLM_c

Brian May: Why I oppose the badger cull

Brian May: why I oppose the badger cull

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Stop the cull video

STOP THE BADGER CULL VIDEO - sign the petition

<div class="player-unavailable"><h1 class="message">An error occurred.</h1><div class="submessage"><a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0zKwBxUeSfs">Try watching this video on www.youtube.com</a>, or enable JavaScript if it is disabled in your browser.</div></div>

 

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MORE ON ENVIRONMENT

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Brian May slams TV chef for 'badger casserole' comments

As petition against cull reaches 100,000, Two Fat Ladies star suggests we eat leftover badger meat

LAST UPDATED AT 15:05 ON TUE 25 SEP 2012

BRIAN MAY has hit out at TV chef Clarissa Dickson-Wright after she said that badgers killed in the impending cull should be eaten.

The Two Fat Ladies presenter suggested turning the animal meat into a ham or basting and marinating it like pork to serve in a casserole, reports The Independent. "It would solve the problem. There's going to be a cull, so rather than just throw them in the landfill site why not eat them?" she said yesterday.

"I would have no objection to eating badgers. I have no objection to eating anything very much, really."

Queen guitarist May, who is spearheading the fight against the cull, said: "I think we should seriously consider eating senseless people like this Clarissa whoever-she-is. She's obviously outlived her usefulness. I wonder if she would be best boiled or braised."

Dixon-Wright's comments came as a petition to urge the Government to stop the cull – launched by May last week – reached 100,000 signatures. It is a milestone that means the issue can now be considered for debate in the House of Commons.

The cull is aimed at reducing the spread of tuberculosis to cattle but campaigners claim it will not solve the problem and vaccination should be considered instead. Farmers will be licensed to shoot up to 70 per cent of the badgers in a 300 square kilometre pilot area in Gloucestershire. A second licence for a pilot cull in Somerset is still under consideration.

Despite the growing public opposition, the new farming minister David Heath insisted last night that the government remains 100 per cent committed to its decision.

During a Liberal Democrat Conference fringe meeting in Brighton he said he hoped the petition would pave the way for a "sober" Commons debate on the issue but said the cull was scientifically justified and there were no viable alternatives.

"I cannot see the current situation being allowed to go on and on and for TB to increase across England and eventually cover the whole of the dairy farming country. That is unacceptable in welfare terms, socially, to farmer and to taxpayers and I will defend the policy right the way through because we have got to do something about it."

However, shadow environment secretary Mary Creagh said “ministers should listen to the scientists and can this cull which is bad for farmers, bad for taxpayers and bad for wildlife". · 

Read more: http://www.theweek.co.uk/environment/49210/brian-may-slams-tv-chef-badger-casserole-comments#ixzz27WM5lpLf 

 

UK

In association with

25 September 2012 Last updated at 00:12 GMT

E-petition leaves badger cull 'up for debate'

Badgers are generally protected under UK law, but exceptions are allowed for disease prevention

Continue reading the main story

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The badger cull in parts of Somerset and Gloucestershire could be reconsidered, after 100,000 people signed an e-petition to stop it.

The online petition was launched last week by Queen guitarist Brian May, as part of the "team badger" campaign.

The petition currently has 105,000 signatories, which means it could be debated in the House of Commons.

Last week, farmers were issued with the first licences to shoot badgers, in a cull aimed at preventing bovine TB.

Campaigners say the cull will not have a significant impact in reducing the disease and are calling for the government to focus on the vaccination methods instead.

But those in support of a cull argue the move is needed because badgers spread TB to livestock, costing taxpayers and farmers millions of pounds.

'Make things worse'

Scientific estimates suggest that culling badgers in areas where bovine TB is prevalent could reduce the number of new cases of TB in herds by 16% over 9 years, according to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Continue reading the main story

The pilot areas

West Gloucestershire pilot area description: mainly in the county of Gloucestershire, predominantly within the council districts of the Forest of Dean and Tewkesbury, and parts lie within the districts of Wychavon, Malvern Hills and the south east part of the county of Herefordshire. The area does not include the public forest estate in the Forest of Dean.

West Somerset pilot area description: located in the county of Somerset. The application area predominantly lies within the council district of West Somerset and part lies within the district of Taunton Deane.

Source: Natural England

In Gloucestershire, farmers are being licensed to shoot up to 70% of badgers in one 300 square kilometre area.

The licence for a trial cull in Somerset is still under consideration.

Meanwhile, animal welfare and wildlife campaigners have opposed the cull, which will allow wild badgers to be shot by trained marksmen when the animals venture out of their setts at night.

The Badger Trust lost a fight challenging the legality of the cull in the High Court in early September.

The e-petition has called on the government to halt the cull, arguing that "over 70% of the badger population in large areas of the country will be killed, many of them healthy".

"Independent scientific studies have shown that culling would be of little help in reducing bovine TB, and even suggest that it could make things worse in some areas," it says.

"We urge the government to stop the cull and implement the more sustainable and humane solution of both a vaccination programme for badgers and cattle, along with improved testing and biosecurity."

Shadow Environment Secretary Mary Creagh said: "There is widespread concern about the government's decision to press ahead with a badger cull, despite their own official advice that it will cost more than it saves and will spread bovine TB in the short term as badgers are disturbed by the shooting.

"Ministers should listen to the scientists and can this cull which is bad for farmers, bad for taxpayers and bad for wildlife."

West

Further government debate? E-petition against badger cull hits 100,000 signatures

- last updated Tue 25 Sep 2012

Brian May protests against the cull Photo: Ben Birchall/PA Wire/Press Association Images

More than 100,000 people have signed an online petition opposing the cull of badgers planned for Gloucestershire and Somerset.

The petition was launched last week by Queen guitarist Brian May as part of the 'team badger' campaign. It could mean the decision is referred back to parliament for further debate.

A licence has been granted for a cull to begin in Gloucestershire, while a second application for West Somerset is still being considered. The government hopes the pilot culls will pave the way for more widespread culling.

As many as 3,000 badgers could be shot during the first cull, which farmers say is necessary because the wild animal spreads the disease to livestock.

At the launch of the Team Badger billboard in London, May said he became involved with the issue "even before this government was in office, because it was apparent to many of us what was going to happen if David Cameron was given power - that animals, wild animals, were going to become completely unimportant, unrepresented."

The musician and campaigner said every badger was a "thinking, feeling being".

Badgers are under this immediate threat.

– Brian May

A long-term study found that culling of badgers over a number of years on a large scale could reduce the incidence of TB in cattle herds by 16%. But May said the cull was "scientifically, practically and ethically indefensible and it is against the wishes of the majority of people of this country".

He wants the cull to be abandoned in favour of vaccination, which he believes is the only long-term hope for eradicating TB in cattle.

Nobody wants to see badgers being culled but science and the experience of other countries shows that we can't get on top of TB without tackling it in wildlife as well as in cattle.

Without action, TB is forecast to cost the taxpayer £1billion over the next decade.

We have strengthened measures to restrict the spread of disease between cattle, but badger control has to be one part of the solution.

– Environment Department (Defra) spokesman

 

 

· THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

· Wall Street Journal

Nature TV presenter David Attenborough has taken up the cause, and Queen guitarist Brian May has helpfully compared the badger cull to apartheid. A "Stop the Badger Cull" petition now has more than 117,000 signatures, ...

READ MORE: HTTP://ONLINE.WSJ.COM/ARTICLE/SB10000872396390444813104578015910631982372.HTML

· September 25, 2012, 3:55 p.m. ET

A Bustle in the Hedgerow

Badgers are creatures only urbanites could love—from a safe distance.

· Article

· Comments

MORE IN OPINION »

 

In "The Wind in the Willows," Mr. Badger is a wise old hermit, holding himself aloof from society. In the real world, British badgers are a growing and dangerous vector for bovine tuberculosis. Badger-led outbreaks have meant the compulsory slaughter of livestock, and millions of pounds a year in government compensation to affected farmers.

So last year the government started pushing for a more practical approach: death to the badgers. After defeating a legal challenge from the Badger Trust, authorities this month issued the first licenses for pilot badger culls. English landowners will now be able to shoot up to 70% of the badgers in zoned areas.

Farmers are cheering but, not surprisingly, the move has sent the pro-badger lobby into a frenzy. (There's a lobby for everything.) Nature TV presenter David Attenborough has taken up the cause, and Queen guitarist Brian May has helpfully compared the badger cull to apartheid. A "Stop the Badger Cull" petition now has more than 117,000 signatures, and may get a hearing in Parliament.

But non-fictional badgers are creatures only urbanites could love—from a safe distance. Along with TB, the animals can spread rabies, pleurisy, nephritis, fleas, ticks, lice, mites, more types of parasitic worm than we care to know about—and herpes. When grubs run low, they can and will eat anything: snakes, rabbits, hedgehogs. Their teeth can break most bones, and chicken-wire is no match for their claws.

In a less sentimental age, Sir Alfred E. Pease observed in his 1898 monograph "The Badger" that "you cannot kill a badger by a blow on the head, the structure is so dense. . . . His skin is so thick and tough, and his coat so heavy and coarse, that shot will scarcely penetrate it." The best spot, Pease instructed, "is his nose, where, if he is struck once, he is instantly dispatched."

There is something to be said for a society now so comfortable that it can afford to empathize with four-legged varmints, or at least the ones that inspired beloved children's books. But policy decisions belong to the real world, where nature is distinctly unromantic.

"We are an enduring lot," Mr. Badger remarks in "The Wind in the Willows." "We may move out for a time, but we wait, and are patient, and back we come. And so it will ever be."

The badgers will look out for themselves. If the anthropomorphized Mr. Badger could take part in Britain's debate today, in his wisdom he might advise that humans do the same.

 

Law on the Web

http://www.lawontheweb.co.uk/news/2012/09/476-badger-cull-petition-could-cue-commons-debate
News>2012>September>Badger cull petition could cue Commons debate

 

LUKE WHITMORE

News author : Badger cull petition could cue Commons debate

Posted: 25 September 2012

The pilot scheme for a UK-wide badger cull could be re-evaluated after an e-petition protesting against it garnered over 100,000 signatures.

E-petitions created on the Directgov website which achieve this level of approval from members of the public must be considered for debate by the House of Commons, which could mean a reappraisal of the controversial culling plan, for which the first licences were distributed to farmers earlier this week. The cull is intended to prevent the spread of bovine TB, which is costing farmers billions of pounds when contracted by cattle.

The petition, created by Queen guitarist Brian May, challenges the cull with criticisms which have already been expressed in many quarters, citing the questionable viability of the scheme as a means of reducing incidents of bovine TB.

A lengthy independent study performed prior to the government’s decision to go ahead with the scheme concluded that killing badgers would be an ineffective and costly way of preventing the disease, and could in fact cause it to spread further as infected badgers fled from the attacks. Campaigners have called for a vaccination programme instead.

Licences for free shooting of badgers have now begun to be approved in Somerset and Gloucestershire, with expectations of rolling out the scheme across the country in time.

The petition also protested the shooting of many healthy badgers, with an estimated population reduction of 70%, as well as potential distress caused by the method of free shooting.

The Badger Trust lost a legal challenge attempting to prevent the plan from going ahead early this September, though they vowed to continue the battle by whatever means they could. Brian May has already pledged his support to a national Stop the Cull campaign, which involves such charities as the RSPCA, the League Against Cruel Sports and Humane Society International (UK).

 

September 24, 2012 EDT

The fur is flying in Britain after a popular food writer suggested that badgers be eaten as food.

 

Clarissa Dickson-Wright, best known in the U.S. as one of the stars of the PBS cooking series "Two Fat Ladies," told the Telegraph that she enjoyed eating badgers when she was younger.

The mean-looking critters are now a protected species in Great Britain, but may be culled in Gloucestershire County because of fears they may spread tuberculosis to cattle.

The British government recently approved a trial plan to kill badgers in an attempt to slow the spread of infection, the Associated Press reported.

Soon hunters that are licensed to cull will be roaming by night in search of the animals, but Wright wants the badger carcasses to be consumed, rather than just discarded.

''It would solve the problem. There's going to be a cull, so rather than just throw them in the landfill site why not eat them?'' she told the Telegraph.

''I would have no objection to eating badgers. I have no objection to eating anything very much, really.''

 

Badgers aren't commonly eaten these days, but Dickson-Wright said they were widely consumed centuries ago.

"Staple food of the population, well before rabbit because rabbit was a luxury food," she told HuffPost UK. "People ate badger because badger was plentiful."

She added that badger was even a popular bar food when she was growing up. Before the animal became a protected species, Dickson-Wright ate it barbecued, filleted and even in the form of a cured ham.

She recommends budding badger cooks baste the meat properly because it's very lean.

 

Dickson-Wright may be promoting the idea of badgers as food, but her comments have angered Queen guitarist Brian May, who is against the badger cull.

The musician is urging people to boycott milk produced in areas where culls take place and believes Dickson-Wright would be a better entree than any badger.

"I think we should seriously consider eating senseless people like this Clarissa whoever-she-is," he said, according to the Independent. "She's obviously outlived her usefulness. I wonder if she would be best boiled or braised."

 

http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/license-to-cull-rock-star-takes-on-farmers-over-uk-plan-to-shoot-badgers-to-stop-bovine-tb/2012/09/19/2dbbde08-0263-11e2-9132-f2750cd65f97_story.html

License to cull: Rock star takes on farmers over UK plan to shoot badgers to stop bovine TB

(Joel Ryan/ Associated Press ) - British musician Brian May gestures as he stands on a cherry picker to launch the national Team Badger campaign, in front of a giant billboard, on Cromwell road, west London, Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2012. A rock star is facing off against British farmers, over badgers. The government has issued licenses for the country’s first badger cull, and soon snipers will be roaming in search of the animals. But Queen guitarist Brian May is leading a band of badger defenders vowing to stop them.

By Associated Press, Published: September 19

LONDON — A battle over badgers is brewing in Britain — and rock star Brian May is leading the fight.

May and other animal rights activists are going up against the country’s cattle farmers in a bid to save Britain’s native burrowers from a government-authorized cull.

For animal-loving Britons, raised on tales of the wise Mr. Badger from the children’s classic “The Wind in the Willows,” the black-and-white creatures are a treasured part of the rural landscape.

To cattle farmers, however, they are a feral menace, spreading bovine tuberculosis, a disease that can devastate herds and hurt farm revenues.

This week the government approved a trial plan to kill badgers in one part of England to try and slow the spread of infection. Soon hunters — licensed to cull — will be roaming by night in search of the animals, unless a public campaign in support of the badgers succeeds in altering government policy.

That’s where May, the Queen guitarist, comes in.

May performed in front of millions around the world last month playing “We Will Rock You” at the Olympic closing ceremony. On Wednesday, he spent the morning standing on a cherry-picker in front of a giant billboard of a badger so photographers could snap his picture as six lanes of traffic thundered by.

“This is a horrific proposal, truly horrific,” said May, an animal-welfare activist and fan of the “charming, intelligent, funny animals.”

“Badgers have just as much right to live in this country as we do,” May said. “They mind their own business. They do nobody any harm.”

Many farmers would disagree. They have lost cows and income to bovine TB, which is spread — in part — by infected badgers mingling with cattle herds and transmitting the bacteria through their urine.

Under British law, animals that test positive for TB must be slaughtered and the rest of the herd is quarantined. More than 18,000 cattle were killed because of the disease in the first six months of this year. The British government estimates controlling bovine TB costs taxpayers 100 million pounds ($160 million) a year.

The disease, once confined to a corner of southwest England, is spreading, and the National Farmers’ Union says the number of cases will double in a decade if nothing is done.

But so far no remedy has been found. There is no cattle vaccine effective enough to have been approved by European authorities. There is a vaccine for badgers but it must be administered by injection, so a large-scale vaccination program for the elusive underground dwellers would be a challenge.

That leaves culling.

“At the moment it’s the only tool in the box,” said Adam Quinney, a beef farmer and vice president of the National Farmers’ Union.

He says animal welfare groups don’t have a monopoly on caring about animals.

“I grew up getting up early in the morning to watch the badgers on our farm,” Quinney said. “It’s not that we hate badgers — it’s TB that we hate.”

The shooting, carried out by specially licensed farmers and other locals, is expected to begin within weeks in the western England county of Gloucestershire.

_________________________________________________________

 

 

Brian May: Badger’s best friend

 

Rock god, astrophysicist – and now animal-rights campaigner. His is a career like no other

JOHN WALSH 

 

SATURDAY 22 SEPTEMBER 2012

 

 

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/profiles/brian-may-badgers-best-friend-8163734.html

Anti-badger culling petition passes 100,000-signature milestone

Campaigners hope for parliamentary debate on pilot cull of protected animals now that numerical threshold is reached

, Monday 24 September 2012 18.53 BST

Brian May launches the national Team Badger campaign in west London on 19 September. Photograph: Joel Ryan/AP

More than 100,000 people have signed a petition against a cull of badgers that is intended to tackle tuberculosis in cattle, in an attempt to prompt a parliamentary debate on it.

The e-petition was launched by the Queen guitarist, Brian May, last week as part of the Team Badger campaign, after the first licence to kill the protected wild animal was issued for a pilot cull in Gloucestershire.

Reaching the 100,000-signature milestone means the issue could be debated in parliament, although this is not automatic.

Campaigners are angry over the government's decision to push ahead with a cull of badgers, which the activists say will have an insignificant effect in reducing the disease in livestock; they want the focus to be shifted on to vaccination.

But supporters of the cull say the move is necessary in order to tackle TB in cattle because the wild animal spreads the disease to livestock, costing farmers and the taxpayer millions of pounds a year. A long-term study found that culling over a number of years on a large scale could reduce the incidence of TB in cattle herds by 16%.

Farmers will be licensed to shoot up to 70% of the badgers in a 300 sq km (116 sq mile) area in Gloucestershire. A second licence for a pilot cull in Somerset is still being considered.