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

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid