RSPCA: Come and help Brian May help save the badgers

Rock star and RSPCA supporter Dr Brian May is to speak at a public meeting this Saturday (April 22) to oppose plans to kill thousands of badgers in England.

With the Government’s potentially devastating cull of badgers set to start in less than eight weeks, campaigners from Team Badger are gathering to mobilise support.

Speakers joining RSPCA vice-president Brian May, are RSPCA chief executive Gavin Grant, League Against Cruel Sports Chief executive Joe Duckworth and Steve Jones, a retired dairy farmer and lead in 'Not in this farms name’ campaign.

Gavin Grant said: “We urge anyone who wants to help save the badgers and help cattle to join us at this meeting.

“There has been overwhelming scientific, political and public opposition to these plans and science has shown that killing badgers is not the answer to problems of bovine TB in cattle.

“Time is running out. Unless something is done quickly this senseless slaughter could begin in a matter of weeks.

“As plans stand thousands of badgers will die – virtually eliminating them from large areas of the countryside. Yet the problems of bovine TB will not be solved.”

The RSPCA has 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, 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% of the badger population in large areas of the countryside, many of them healthy, would be wiped out by these culls.

This view is supported by the public, scientists and MPs, who voted in overwhelming numbers against the cull in a full debate on the floor of the House of Commons last autumn when the cull was originally planned.

Badgers were given a temporary reprieve shortly afterwards as the cull was postponed, but the

Westminster Government has since announced that its ill fated plans will now go ahead in areas of Somerset and Gloucestershire this summer – probably around the start of June. Plans may already be being made for a further cull in Dorset.

 

Notes to editors

    The open public meeting will start at 7pm at Taunton Conference Centre.

  Journalists, please call press officer Katya Mira on 0300 123 0290 or email katya.mira@rspca.org.uk if you would like to attend.

 

RSPCA, Wilberforce Way, Southwater, Horsham, West Sussex RH13 9RS
Press office direct lines: 0300 123 0244/0288  Fax: 0303 123 0099
Duty press officer (evenings and weekends) Tel 08448 222888 and ask for pager number 828825
Email: press@rspca.org.uk  Website: www.rspca.org.uk