Brian May stands up for Welsh badgers
Cull plan 'inhuman vandalism', declares Queen strummer
Queen guitarist Brian May has mobilised against a proposed cull of badgers in Wales, something he describes as an "inhuman act of vandalism".
The Welsh assembly will today debate a "legislative order that would allow a cull in north Pembrokeshire, and parts of Ceredigion and Carmarthenshire", the BBC explains.
Rural affairs Minister Elin Jones decided to go ahead with the cull on the basis that "substantial scientific evidence" indicated it would curb the spread of bovine tuberculosis.
May supports those who say it would prove ineffective. In an open letter to the assembly members, he wrote: "Everybody, and I mean everybody, who has studied the evidence, knows that (a cull) cannot work, and that the only true way to eliminate this disease is through better screening and movement controls in cattle farming."
He added: "The slaughter of badgers cannot prove anything - all it will do is appease the farmers in the short term, who understandably, perhaps, 'want to see something done'."
One of the AMs who will be voting against the order is Peter Black, Liberal Democrat member for South Wales West, who is equally sceptical that the cull will work.
Black told the BBC: "Myself and a number of AMs have seen evidence to suggest culling will actually increase the instances of TB inside the culling area and will have very little effect in the long term in reducing TB.
"We are all sympathetic with the farmers, we know this has to be tackled, but we believe a far more humane and rational way to do this, and cheaper as it happens, is to use vaccinations in cattle and badgers as a method in particular as a way of controlling TB in the long-term."
Stephen James, deputy president of the NFU Cymru, countered that there was a "significant reservoir" of TB in badgers within the proposed cull zone, and that while vaccination "prevents disease, it does not cure it".
May, who described himself in his letter as "a concerned member of the British public, whose primary profession happens to be playing rock music", will attend today's debate to see how successful his lobbying has been. The BBC has more here. ®
badgers badgers badgers
Not that it's directly applicable, but he is at least a scientist, with a Phd in Astrophysics.
And the 'science' behind the cull is massively shoddy. There's no proven link between badgers and bovine TB, and wiping out a ton of them in order to 'see if it makes a difference', which is what the 'plan' amounts to, is frankly fairly dumb.
Indeed, and if farmers new more about epidemiology
there would be fewer epidemics, better controls on transportation, fewer animals kept packed too close together, and fewer knee-jerk reactions to any wild animal that happens to share their land.
Meanwhile . . .
. . .in other parts of the world cattle are being given medication that is lethal to the vultures that are necessary to clear up dead animals.
But it's O.K. as it doesn't harm the ikkle cows.
Remove one vital link in the recycling chain and it all stops working.
When you keep cattle penned up all winter and drugged up to the big lovely eyeballs it's no surprise that other infections pass easily.
Still no real evidence that badgers actually cause the problems.