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Queen guitarist Brian May 'faced death' at Gloucestershire badger cull

By The Citizen  |  Posted: September 11, 2013

Comments (20)

Queen guitarist Brian May has written about how he came 'close to death' while supporting badger cull protesters in Gloucestershire.

Writing on his Save Me Facebook page Dr May describes the trial badger cull as 'insane.'

Yesterday Defra insisted the trail cull was necessary and wasn't designed to 'wipe out badgers' saying if we don't act now to stop the spread of bovine TB, the consequences for farming would be devestating.

Here is his diary entry:

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Beginning my day in Gloucestershire, there is a grim undercurrent of violence in the air. We came very close to death just now when a white 4 by 4 came careering towards us on the wrong side of the road. He was overtaking at about 90 mph, and had no way back into his lane. If we hadn't braked hard, we and he would have instantaneously been mincemeat. Reminds you how delicate the life of a creature is. Reminds that for all our pretentions and arrogance, all the Human Race has managed to do is cover this planet with concrete and pollution, and wipe out 99 per cent of the other animals with which we used to share it.

It's hard to be optimistic. And now we have a Government completely in bed with all those elements of society who don't get it. Who think all that matters is money, and power, and takes pleasure in causing pain and death to any creature, on any pretext. With this insane badger cull now in progress, it's probably the bleakest outlook ever in the UK. As Bill Oddie remarked - under this Government, no wild animal is safe. Actually . .. no animal.

I'll be keeping my eyes open here today, and meeting many of the brave and very peace-loving people who are dedicating their time to saving innocent animals. Our visibility is everything, because it is the public that will eventually stop this hideous violence. So we have to inform the public. The newspapers are reluctantly coming around, it seems, but so much of what goes on out here is still being suppressed.

Britain is rotting at its core right now. Only awareness can cut out the rot.

I'll be tweeting and Soapboxing today whenever I can - from the grim and bloody killing fields of Gloucestershire.

Having a very interesting time in Newent ! We've met loads of local folks and peaceful demonstrators, wounded badger patrollers. The support we're feeling is huge. We've been trying to meet with local farmers, but it seems that the NFU have told them all they're not allowed to talk to me. I guess that says a lot - what are they trying to hide ?

Just had a long chat on film, though, with a great local farmer who ISN'T a member of the NFU, so he wasn't 'got at' ! Very nice guy, who is somewhat on the fence, but frustrated that the Government isn't prioritising vaccination for cattle. He's basically up for vaccination, because he doesn't trust this lot to know what they are doing, and hasn't seen any evidence that culling will work. Was shocked that they are not testing the carcasses. Why isn't he in the NFU ? Well, that's another story. But didn't you have the impression that the NFU was speaking for the WHOLE community of British farmers.

Actually, only 18 per cent of farmers are in the NFU. Isn't that pretty shocking ? When you realise that the NFU are virtually running the country, through manipulation of the Government. Well, it would be more accurate, though less kind, to say they're in bed with the NFU, and the Countryside Alliance … the whole bunch of them straining at the bit, eager to get the moment when they can smash the Hunting Act, and bring back all the despicable blood sports they love so much. Badger culling is a lot different from Fox Hunting, right ? Or is it ? Isn't it the same bunch of bloodthirsty thugs that are currently careering around Gloucester, that a couple of months ago were out there doing the same thing, slaughtering foxes for fun (legally) or digging out badgers for sadistic games (illegally) ???

Well, perhaps we'll find out tonight.

We're certainly hearing lots of stories which already blow the Government's claims of 'humane' killing out of the water. Stories of badgers screaming after shots are fired, the sound of dogs finishing them off. Stories of wounded badgers escaping, along with bewildered cubs. Stories of badgers dying in front of people who were there to help, but weren't allowed to help, kept back by police. Who knows … but perhaps we'll see it a bit more first hand.

Just watching the Mock the Week thing. Kind of funny. Except it's not a laughing matter. Still, comedy is good. Mixed bag, really. A shame that you have some idiot accusing badgers of being the reason hedgehogs are in decline. This is a bogus piece of propaganda - lies, of course. Hedgehogs have coexisted with Badgers for millennia, of course. What they haven't coexisted with, of course, is slug pellets and pesticides and herbicides. Spin, spin spin. And it's OUR money they're using to hoodwink us.

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  • Charlespk  |  September 26 2013, 11:07AM

    @Loopylouhop Thursday, September 12 2013, 8:01AM Quote:- "From my limited understanding of Bovine Tuberculosis" You hit the nail right on the head Loopylouhop. You have a VERY, VERY limited understanding of the M.tuberculosis genus of Mycobacteria, as do most badgerists. . The truth is out there as most are now aware. But there are others that are just plain nasty and are completely in denial, that have now developed a complete hatred of farmers and farming. . They see this as their opportunity to cause maximum damage to the industry. Many are very high profile Vegans, but if you watch the following presentation you'll see just how totally wrong these people actually are. Reversing Desertification. Alan Savory. http://tinyurl.com/agzx7xk (open in a new window)

  • Kay_Powell  |  September 14 2013, 2:44PM

    I am against the cull, but am appalled at Brian May's idiotic rantings. His claims are absolutely ridiculous. Of course we haven't wiped out 99% of the other animals on this planet. His 'almost' accident is something that could happen anywhere, and something that has happened to me and probably many other people; it was caused by bad driving, and nothing to do with the cull. This hype does nothing to help the anti-cull cause.

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  • mmjames  |  September 12 2013, 11:43PM

    Loopylouhop Thursday, September 12 2013, 8:01AM Perhaps you should see if Dianne Summers agrees with you, along with 8 people in the Gloucestershire area being treated [ brought up at a public meeting in Cheltenham a week or so ago] Cattle are shot before getting to infectIOUS stage.... that is the point of the skin test - it ID's cattle who have met Zoonotic Tuberculosis.... = canaries in the coal mine.

  • missmustoe  |  September 12 2013, 2:19PM

    Fidog ' if only the so called 4 x 4 had hit him' what a disgusting thing to say! and is a mirror of the aggressive farmers and their hands attitude. I am a COUNTRY woman, appalled by all I have seen for 40 years. Farmers illegally decimating setts at spring time, slurry filling in setts etc the list goes on. Farmers forums openly advising each other how to mix and place explosives in setts. Many farmers are against the cull, and I mix have friends who are farmers. They say the setts SHOULD be left alone, with no more than vaccinating badgers. Indeed, the landowner, who's land I have walked for years, has agreed and is using vaccination, has put up amazing fencing and electric wire to protect his interests, and accommodates badgers on his land. In my direct experience it is the hill billie types , low intelligent farmers baying for badgers blood. And pro-hunts, such as owen, Cameron , heath and the rich landowners, who came from London to hobbie farm, and rip the public's taxes off, for applying for land grants, making millions, for a slip in the lawfull access of these funds. People from town have the RIGHT and knowledge of science to have a say in protecting out struggling eco-system, especially as it is THEM paying your wages, through products., and many now shopping for alternative dairy free products. I suggest people walk out in the country and take a peek a herds water troughs, foul, green and full of bacteria including TB. The badger cull is a disgrace and should be stopped, and people like you taught the hygiene of caring for herds, to stop cattle to cattle spread of TB, after all the clue is in the namen, BOVINE TB P.S. Do you think a farm hand out in a 4x4 was justified in following 2 lone females on the road walking back to their cars,, slowly behind them at their pace, and asking them if they wanted some dead badgers is acceptable?

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  • Loopylouhop  |  September 12 2013, 8:01AM

    This is an extremely emmotive subject. Whilst I do not support the cull in the way it is being done. I also think it is such a shame that human beings feel that it is necessary to insult others. It seems to me in this day age, when we have such easy means to educate ourselves, it is ridiculous. From my limited understanding of Bovine Tuberculosis(BTB), there are different strains. It is not proven that they can be passed from Badger to Cattle and vice versa. I believe other animals such as deer carry TB? There was a mass cull in the 70's that didn't work, just supposedly spread the infection to larger areas as the badgers relocated. It is also not proven that we can get TB from the meat we eat? What I do not understand, is why the money spent on the various culls we have had has not been allocated to subsidising farmers so they can afford to vaccinate their cattle? This, I believe, has just as much proven effect as the removal of the badger. I do wonder whether we could have tackled this in a better way. Taking the premise that every living creature has a right to live. Is it insane to think that if we darted the said badgers, instead of shooting them,we could then tag and vaccinated them? This way we would be protecting a native British animal and our food source. These are quotes I have found: The Food Standards Agency confirm meat is safe; 'Where a carcass shows evidence of localised TB, the lesions are cut out and the rest of the carcass is passed as fit for human consumption.' In fact the carcasses are even sold back into the food chain by DEFRA in an attempt to recover some of their costs. An FSA spokesman said 'there had not been a single documented case of someone developing human TB after eating infected meat'. There are three ways humans can get bovine tuberculosis: * by breathing or inhaling air contaminated with the bacteria after an infected animal or infected person coughs or sneezes very close by. However, cattle owners and TB testers on farms take no precautions when in contact with cattle, wear no masks and do not contract the disease. They do, however, suffer physical injuries because of the high health and safety risks involved with cattle handling * by drinking unpasteurised milk from an infected cow or eating raw or undercooked meat from an infected animal. * by handling infected meat in the dressing and processing of animal carcasses, especially if hands aren't washed carefully prior to consuming food. There is very little risk that an individual would contract bovine tuberculosis by this method borne out by the fact that even abattoir workers and vets very rarely contract the disease.Currently less than 1% of cases of TB in humans are caused by BTB and a significant proportion of these are in humans over 70 years old (reactivation of ancient infections) or immigrants from developing countries. With modern living conditions, better sanitation and the widespread use of pasteurisation/cooking, the risk is extremely low. The Health Protection Agency has confirmed that the risk to humans is negligible (so small or unimportant as to be not worth considering). It is interesting to note that around 60% of the human population are in areas where bovine TB is either only partially controlled or not controlled at all. Quite simply, I wonder if we are going mad. Just 230 cases of BTB are treated in the US per year and the treatment... antibiotics. If we do not treat it it MAY develop into TB disease which again if not treated COULD leave to death. So seeing as the approx. pop of US is 316,637,000 and UK is 316,637,000 (roughly a ⅕) it means that 46 people MIGHT get BTB if they are handling an infected animal and don't take the inexpensive, simple appropriate precautions. Also they can be tested and treated to be cured. Have we even thought about developing a vaccination for Humans for BTB to co-inside with the TB jab currently given at school age?

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  • MisterH  |  September 12 2013, 2:49AM

    It's actually hilarious reading the drivel that all these Townies, who know nothing of countryside life come out with. Do some proper research and then you'll realise why no-one from the FOD, or Newent locals are backing the anti badger cull lunatics. Go back to your town and coo over the little murdering foxes your ignorant lifestyles have brought about.

  • gentleman2012  |  September 11 2013, 9:33PM

    Agent006 - you seem determined to misuse statistics to reinforce your obvious bias regarding the cull. There are 55 000 members of the NFU (around 18% of UK farmers), so we're talking around 55 000 people against more than 400 000 who have signed the government's e-petition - and it's public knowledge that not all NFU members support the cull. If you're going to use statistics to make a point, at least back them up with the facts - as Mark Twain said, "Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and to remove all doubt.... "

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  • morrisdancer  |  September 11 2013, 9:06PM

    Elljay1 - you worry me, I dread to think what kind of carnivorous fangs you have - terrifying! Agent006 - not many sabs drive 4 by 4s in my experience and those who do drive generally do so with care and consideration for fellow humans and animals. Beefbreeder (let's face it, with a name like that, it was never going to be positive was it ?!) There don't seem to be many other rockstars joining in the protests - I wonder why, if it is such a great way to get media attention! It may surprise you that some people are genuinely concerned about our wildlife and the impending disaster for biodiversity. One day your sort will realise that humans are committing suicide very slowly and that looking out for fellow creatures could actually change that. But by then I suspect it will be too late.

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  • inthewildwest  |  September 11 2013, 8:40PM

    If like me you are unable to get to the cull zones at present to protect the badgers and feel the need to do something please help by donating on the Stop the Cull website. Thank you. I am a badger protector living in Pembrokeshire.

  • Clued-Up  |  September 11 2013, 5:01PM

    Have just seen a TV report stating (1) there've been no formal complaints to the police about biased, heavy-handed policing; and (2) Wounded Badger Patrol volunteers complaining many of them have been police stopped 3 times in a night, followed etc even though they've been meticulous about staying within the law. It's essential for protesters to lodge formal complaints (with evidence) to the senior police officers if they feel the police aren't doing their job properly. If protesters don't provide the senior officers with enough evidence on which to act they can't rein in / discipline any misbehaving juniors.