Saturday, 22 September 2012

Queen's Brian May - Battles on behalf of Badgers and you can help too

Brian May

If you are a Twitter user you have probably noticed all the 'Badger Tweets' that are 'trending' on Twitter encouraging you to act on behalf of Badgers, you may also have seen it on Facebook
When writing a news article I am meant to remain 'neutral' however there are times it is impossible to do so. So personally as a vegetarian 'bunny hugger' (as someone once sneeringly described me) I have welcomed this campaign - and not purely from 'sentimental' reason.  I fail to see how badgers can be described in this country as 'protected' when this woodland genocide has been given the go ahead. Gives a whole new twisted meaning to the word protected doesn't it! I struggle to see why the vaccination option is not being put into place - does it come down to money?. I also feel it will be a case of 'shoot first and check the badger had TB afterwards'  That's my opinion..article follows below- Marilyn Michaels Classic Rock Radio

Queen guitarist Brian May has launched a campaign to stop the " indefensible " cull of badgers, a cruelty which has been given the go-ahead because it's believed by many that badgers carry the bovine TB virus in cattle. The guitarist claims the cull will make bovine TB rates worse as sick badgers will travel to other areas, thereby spreading infection even further.

He is urging people to sign the petition at  and to boycott dairy products made in the areas where badgers are being killed, insisting, "I would certainly not drink milk that comes at a price of badgers being slaughtered."

May adds, "This is a horrific proposal, truly horrific. Badgers have just as much right to live in this country as we do. They mind their own business. They do nobody any harm."

The Team Badger campaign, backed by major animal welfare groups, aims to raise public awareness and collect signatures on the above government petition to force a debate on badger culling in Parliament. The campaign was launched after the first licence was issued for a pilot cull of badgers, a protected species, in an area of Gloucestershire, in a step the Government hopes will pave the way for more widespread culling.

Farmers will now be able to shoot the protected species on sight. That's right, the farmers - the badgers will not be put down humanely, and according to wildlife experts will possibly suffer  horrific, exruciating injuries before they eventually die

. Gavin Grant, chief executive of the RSPCA, was confident the licence to allow the cull could be reversed if enough people speak out. He said local farmers, businesses and residents are already concerned about the public backlash.

He warned that the reputation of all farmers, that is only now starting to recover from the outrage over the foot-and-mouth outbreak and BSE, will be severely damaged. “Local people and local businesses will be furious about the impacts of the cull - particularly in the leisure industry. These areas will be soaked in badgers’ blood. Will people who love the countryside want to go there? Farmers need to understand that not only will this fail to solve the problem of bovine TB but there will be commercial consequences. Their reputation will be fundamentally damaged"

Mr Grant urged people not to buy milk from West Gloucestershire or West Somerset if the culls go ahead. He said supermarkets will be forced to make clear milk is "cruelty free" and not from areas where the cull is taking place.

David Williams ( Chairman of the Badger Trust) states “Badgers have been killed since 1975 to stop the spread of bTB and the scientific data shows, repeatedly, that it just does not work''

Many leading scientists have stated that a cull this autumn will not work and may even increase the spread of bTB. Since 2007, the majority of scientists have advocated the vaccination of badgers and ultimately of cattle as a far better and more cost-effective option. They are surprised that successive Governments have not embraced this approach more whole-heartedly and the Badger Trust regularly hears from scientists that it has been like banging their heads against a brick wall.

Sir David Attenborough and Simon King OBE say: “We are extremely saddened by the Government’s determination to proceed with culling when there are alternatives that could meet multiple policy objectives – reduce bTB in badgers and cattle AND prevent the unnecessary killing and maiming of one of Britain’s best loved wild mammals”.

They have pointed out that wildlife filmmakers in this country have spent the last six decades trying to inspire and promote understanding and respect for wildlife both nationally and internationally. They ask, “How can we now expect any other nation, especially a poor developing country, to conserve its wildlife whenever there is a conflict with short-term economic and political interests?"

 The Badger Trust is adamant that the UK Government should be leading the world by example at a time when wild species across the planet are declining rapidly. It should be  applying solutions such as vaccination that balance the needs of farmers, badgers and the public interest. Instead the government chooses to press ahead with killing thousands if not hundreds of thousands of one of Britain’s most iconic wild species, and a protected species at that!

Again this is despite the deep reservations of scientists and 69 per cent of the public who responded to the Coalition’s own consultation.

Broadcaster and naturalist Chris Packham, who has recently joined the Badger Trust’s campaign says: “This is the darkest day for badgers in Britain and a shameful one for all of us. Britain prides itself on its excellence in the field of science and technology, and yet science is being forsaken and badgers are about to be sacrificed for no apparent sensible reason. It’s simply unforgivable.”

 If  you are one of the many who care - please sign Brian May's government petition , at least 100,000 signatures are needed (a million and more would be great!) Please also share it around.

Visit the following websites for more information

Save the Badgers

 Marilyn Michaels

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