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

N. Korea Sentences American to 6 Years Hard Labor

Matthew Miller's brief trial Sunday comes two weeks after 24-year old Miller and two other American detainees appealed to the US government to help free them More

Pakistan Rejects Afghan Criticism of 480-kilometer Border Trench

Military spokesman tells VOA the project is part of administrative and security measures taken to secure the mountainous border with Afghanistan More

Photogallery Typhoon Kalmaegi Makes Landfall in Philippines

Storm makes landfall late Sunday, cutting power and communications lines and forcing people to flee to higher ground More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interesti
X
Henry Ridgwell
September 12, 2014 8:35 PM
The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video Palestinians Turn to Rebuilding Gaza

After almost two months of conflict in Gaza, Palestinians are preparing to rebuild the isolated Mediterranean enclave with assistance from abroad. Meanwhile, an international human rights group has found that Israel likely violated international laws of war during some of its attacks on Gaza. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Middle Eastern Church Leaders Highlight Christians’ Plight

Patriarchs of Eastern Rite churches came to Washington this week to draw attention to the attacks against Christians in Syria, Iraq and elsewhere in the Middle East. VOA’s religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid