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

Pundits Split Over Long-Term US Role in Afghanistan

Security pact remains condition for American presence beyond 2014; deadline criticized More

US Eyes Islamic State Threat

Officials warn that IS could pose a threat to US homeland More

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Moscow says Russian troops crossed into Ukrainian territory by mistake More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocksi
X
George Putic
August 25, 2014 4:00 PM
How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Ukrainian officials say they have captured Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory -- the latest accusation of Moscow's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the Ukrainian side of the battle, where soldiers are convinced of Russia's role.
Video

Video Rubber May Soon Come From Dandelions

Synthetic rubber has been around for more than a century, but quality tires for cars, trucks and aircraft still need up to 40 percent or more natural rubber content. As the source of natural rubber, the rubber tree, is prone to disease and can be affected by bad weather. So scientists are looking for replacements. And as VOA’s George Putic reports, they may have found one in a ubiquitous weed.
Video

Video Jewish Life in Argentina Reflected in Yiddish Tango

Jewish people from across Europe and Russia have been immigrating to Argentina for hundreds of years. They brought with them dance music that was eventually mixed with Argentine tango. The result is Yiddish tango -- a fusion of melodies and cultural experiences that is still evolving today. Elizabeth Lee reports on how one band is bringing Yiddish tango to Los Angeles.
Video

Video Peace Returns to Ferguson as Community Tries to Heal

Thousands of people nationwide are expected to attend funeral services Monday in the U.S. Midwestern city of St. Louis, Missouri, for Michael Brown, the unarmed African-American teenager who was fatally shot by a white police officer August 9 in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson. The shooting touched off days of violent demonstrations there, resulting in more than 100 arrests. VOA's Chris Simkins reports from Ferguson where the community is trying to move on after weeks of racial tension.
Video

Video Meeting in Minsk May Hinge on Putin Story

The presidents of Russia and Ukraine are expected to meet face-to-face Tuesday in Minsk, along with European leaders, for talks on the situation in Ukraine. Political analysts say the much welcomed dialogue could help bring an end to months of deadly clashes between pro-Russia separatists and Ukrainian forces in the country's southeast. But much depends on the actions of one man, Russian President Vladimir Putin. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Artists Shun Russia's Profanity Law

Russia in July enacted a law threatening fines for publicly displayed profanity in media, films, literature, music and theater. The restriction, the toughest since the Soviet era, aims to protect the Russian language and culture and has been welcomed by those who say cursing is getting out of control. But many artists reject the move as a patronizing and ineffective act of censorship in line with a string of conservative morality laws. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video British Fighters on Frontline of ISIS Information War

Security services are racing to identify the Islamic State militant who beheaded U.S. journalist James Foley in Syria. The murderer spoke English on camera with a British accent. It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for the Islamic State, also called ISIL or ISIS, alongside thousands of other foreign jihadists. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from the center of the investigation in London.

AppleAndroid