Queen star Brian May, 73, has spoken out after the government announced the UK’s biggest ever badger cull, involving 64,000 kill licences. The Department for Environment, Farming and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) policy is intended to reduce the spread of bovine TB, which can be devastating to cattle.
However, charities such as The Wildlife Trust have argued that the cull will result in the unnecessary deaths of healthy badgers and some which have already been vaccinated.
The musician shared a lengthy Instagram post to address his views on the issue in view of his 2.5 million followers.
Brian admitted the situation has left him feeling “heartbroken” and described the cull of the animals as “unjustifiable murder”.
The performer said in a short video after playing a melancholic melody on his guitar: “Some blue notes, are they major or minor? They’re just blue.
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“I’m feeling very blue tonight because we have some terrible news, which is that the government is backing a badger cull, bigger than ever before.”
Brian then added in the caption: “I’m actually heartbroken and angry beyond words.
“I actually recorded this a couple of nights ago as a long post – and I’ve been struggling with whether to put it up or not. So now I just decided to post this fragment.
“Perhaps it will make little sense unless you know the endless battle that has been fought by decent people to stop the unjustifiable murder of thousands of badgers in Britain.”
He continued: “Any action against dairy farming would cripple farmers and their families, many of whom are decent and humane and feel as frustrated with DEFRA’s ineffective skin test and pointless wildlife culling and restrictive regulations as we do.
“I can’t advocate action against farmers because it would be waging war against the very humans who are hurting most from this disaster. But that leaves us with NO weapon to fight the real criminals – this government with its shameful behaviour towards the environment and the animals around us.
“This is the worst atrocity ever committed against a native wild animal, and the recent run of Tory governments forever has the blood of these beautiful creatures on its hands. We are all the poorer for it.
He concluded: “As Save-Me we continue to work for the humane solution for farmers at Robert Reed’s Gatcombe Farm in Devon.
“Please visit @anneatsaveme if you want to see my account of our work there. And meanwhile … I have no way to fight this tragedy except to pray. Bri.”
Fans took to the comments section of Brian’s post to share their thoughts on the issue.
One person wrote: “How sad. Thinking about how much deep your disappointment and sorrow are, I can’t stand still… Pray for peaceful, precious lives of all creatures.”(sic)
Another added: “You have a beautiful heart and soul Bri.”
A third fan commented: “This is a devastating situation, and the political will to keep up the cull is impossible to understand. Let’s hope that the government will eventually take in the research results and act accordingly by stopping the cull. Sending love.”