21.05.13

Rock star and RSPCA vice-president Dr Brian May is to speak at a public meeting in Dorchester this Friday to oppose plans to kill thousands of badgers in England.

Adult badger in field at dusk © Kevin Degenhard / RSPCA PhotolibraryThe Government today confirmed that it still plans to go ahead with a cull of badgers and this could start in less than two weeks. As a result, those campaigning against these plans are gathering to discuss the potentially devastating impact they would have.

At the moment the pilot culls are earmarked for parts of West Somerset and Tewkesbury. Dorset has been made a ‘reserve cull area’ which means if either area pulls out the plans could be moved here. This event, at the Dorchester Corn Exchange at 7pm, is intended to mobilise support and prepare local campaign groups in case this happens.

The public, leading scientists and MPs are against this cull

Speakers joining RSPCA vice-president Brian May, are RSPCA chief executive Gavin Grant, Mark Jones, MD of the Humane Society International and Steve Jones, a retired dairy farmer and lead in the ‘Not in this farmer’s name’ campaign.

Gavin Grant said:

“It seems more than likely that Dorset could be the next backdrop for this senseless slaughter, so it’s important that we do all we can to help the people of the area prepare for this.

“We urge anyone who agrees that killing badgers is not the answer to bovine TB in cattle to join us at this meeting.

“So many people are against these devastating plans – the public, leading scientists and MPs who voted in resounding numbers last autumn against this cull. Just last week Gloucestershire County Council, the leading authority in one of the two cull areas, voted against the plans.

“But the Government is just not listening and time is running out to make the politicians see sense. We need to put our heads together and do all that we can to stop this happening.”

Gloucestershire County Council voted against the cull

Last week Gloucestershire County Council voted to object to the cull, and agreed to voice these objections in a letter to Defra.

We have long campaigned against plans for a widespread badger cull for both scientific and welfare reasons.

We sympathise with farmers dealing with the problems of the devastating disease. We care just as much about cattle as we do about badgers, but know a cull would be of little help in eradicating bovine TB in cattle, and could even make it worse in some areas. We stand ready to work with the farming community to deliver more effective alternatives including the vaccination of both badgers and cattle and improved biosecurity.

Instead more than 70 per cent of the badger population in large areas of the countryside, many of them healthy, would be wiped out by these culls.

Stop the badger cull!

The government in Westminster continue to ignore scientific, public and political opinion and it’s badgers who will pay the price!

Sign the Number 10 petition calling for a stop to the planned badger cull.

For the latest news about the badger cull visit our badger campaign page.

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