Rock star Brian May has appealed to the British public to try and halt a major execution of badgers by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in their attempt to curb Bovine TB.
DEFRA say that badgers are spreading the infectious disease to cattle across the UK.
“The cows infected the badgers in the beginning… so basically farming has infected a population of badgers, the badgers then can infect back” May told ITV’s Alan Titchmarsh, adding “Badgers have been in this country longer than we have, they’ve been here for literally millions of years minding their own business… we think that we’re the only species on the planet that matters, which is obviously self evidently not true. We’re obviously quite important but the rest of the animals are important too. I don’t think we have the right to treat animals the way we do.”
May went on to point out that eleven thousand badgers had previously been killed in an experiment, named the Randomised Badger Culling Trial in 2008, which the experts involved at the time concluded that killing badgers can make no meaningful contribution to controlling Bovine TB
“Every independent scientific advisors in this country would say that culling is not the answer, however the government are still going ahead with it.” May said.
In a statement DEFRA responded to Brian May’s campaign to stop the culling, “Bovine TB is a devastating disease that will cost one billion pounds over the next ten years if we take no further action.
“Our culling pilots are part of a complete package of measures that will help us bring the disease under control and eventually eradicate it.”
May disagreed with the statement telling The Alan Titchmarsh Show, “I would dispute a lot of that. They should be pouring all of the resources into vaccination.” May suggests that both cows and badgers should be vaccinated to eradicate the disease. “The problem is the EU regulations don’t allow us at the moment to do that.” Continuing, “The only long term cure for this disease is vaccination.”
Brian urged the British public to “do something” to help change the governments mind about the cull. More details on the campaign: http://www.save-me.org.uk/
Two pilot culls are planned in Gloucestershire and Summerset shortly.