News / Europe

Rock Legend Leads London March Against Badger Cull

Brian May (C), guitarist of the legendary rock band Queen, leads a protest against the cull of badgers, in central London June 1, 2013.
Brian May (C), guitarist of the legendary rock band Queen, leads a protest against the cull of badgers, in central London June 1, 2013.
Reuters
Protesters dressed as badgers and led by Queen guitarist Brian May marched through central London Saturday demanding that the government scrap a plan to cull badgers, aimed at slowing the spread of a cattle disease.
 
About 5,000 of the nocturnal black-and-white animals are due to be shot by marksmen in the six-week pilot cull, authorized to begin on Saturday in two areas in southwestern England.
 
The cull has divided rural England, pitting farmers determined to protect their livestock and livelihoods against animal lovers who say the plan will not work and will cause suffering to badgers.
 
Dressed in a black jacket and black shirt with thin white stripes and sporting his signature long bushy curls, rock musician May chatted with other protesters and posed for photographs with them.
 
“Thousands of badgers are going to be killed in a scheme which will not make life any easier for farmers,” May told the BBC. “We don't believe it will work. We don't believe it's humane. And there is a better option which is vaccination.”
 
May later handed a petition against the cull to Prime Minister David Cameron's office at 10 Downing Street.

Gov’t, activists at odds
 
Women wearing badger costumes take part in a protest against the cull of badgers, in central London June 1, 2013.Women wearing badger costumes take part in a protest against the cull of badgers, in central London June 1, 2013.
x
Women wearing badger costumes take part in a protest against the cull of badgers, in central London June 1, 2013.
Women wearing badger costumes take part in a protest against the cull of badgers, in central London June 1, 2013.
The government says the cull is “science-driven and carefully managed.” It follows a study that found culling 70 percent of badgers in an area could reduce by 16 percent bovine TB, a disease that caused the slaughter of an estimated 28,000 cattle in England last year.

The ministry in charge of farming says there is no licensed cattle vaccine against bovine TB available. It says an injectable badger vaccine is available but it is not a realistic option for dealing with the problem in the short-term because of practical difficulties.

The anti-cull protesters dispute the evidence cited by the government in its decision to approve the badger cull.
 
“This cull is unscientific and cruel. Badgers are innocent in the spread of bovine TB,” said Malcolm Clark, from the rural county of Wiltshire.
 
“There are going to be people out at night shooting badgers in the dark. They are not going to kill them humanely. Badgers are going to be running down into their sets to die in agony,” said Clark, whose wife stood next to him in a badger outfit.
 
A Reuters photographer said about 200 protesters took part, some dressed as badgers, others with their faces painted black and white, holding up pictures of badgers with the words “Not guilty” and placards with slogans including “Stop this cruel cull.”

You May Like

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the US are seeing gas prices dip below $3 a gallon More

Afghan Women's Soccer Team Building for the Future

A four-team female league was recently set up in Kabul; It will help identify players for the national team More

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

Pyongyang threatens nuclear test as joint US, S. Korean exercises show forces’ capabilities More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
New Skateboard Defies Gravityi
X
November 21, 2014 5:07 AM
A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid