Brian May Told: Butt Out Of Badger Battle

Queen guitarist Brian May has been told to stay out of a debate over badger culling because he doesn't know what he's talking about.

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Queen guitarist Brian May has been told to stay out of a debate over badger culling because he doesn't know what he's talking about.

And National Farmers' Union spokesman Ian Johnson has labelled the musician's comments as "well-intentioned" but "not-helpful."

May has long been an advocate of banning the mass killing of badgers. He recently spoke out in the UK press, trying to prevent a cull due to take place in Somerset and Gloucester in September.

He called the move a "particularly nasty kind of Conservatism," adding it was "being pursued on the pretext of "doing something" about bovine TB" while no link had been proven between badgers and the killer cow disease.

As a result, he continued, the cull was "disgraceful, tragic and pointless." He added: "Prime Minister David Cameron, Agriculture Minister Jim Paice and Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman cling to this appalling policy. One can only assume they are pandering to a powerful farming leadership who helped elect them."

May insisted that even the NFU supported the argument that killing badgers would not solve the tuberculosis problem.

But NFU man Johnson tells This Is Cornwall: "I don't know where he's got that from. It's rubbish.

This is not political. It's an animal welfare issue. He should not be politicising the problem. Brian May is a well-intentioned, very rich, misguided person. His comments do nothing to help a rational debate about the problem."

"If the guitarist wants to help," says Johnson, "he should be getting involved with the scourge of TB that affects not just cattle, but other species too."

Johnson also railed against May's assertion that all farmers want to bring back fox hunting. "These comments are not helpful. Brian May doesn't realise that, before blood hunts were banned, there were lots of farmers who didn't want the hunt going over their land because they didn't agree with it.

He's obviously a very intelligent man so I can't understand why he's involving himself with issues he doesn't understand."

Thanks to Classicrockmagazine for the report.

7 comments sorted by best / new / date

    If only someone would have the balls to say this to Dave Mustaine.
    Mustaine would just say he expressed his rightful opinion and then complaint about people labeling him a rightwing nutjob because he is just a concerned citizen seeing his country going to shit- or something like that. From someone like Brian May I expect either a well thought-out response to support his opinion or admittance of wrong and an apology. I don't know shit about the whole badge TB thing so I can't really judge, probably most of us here can't either.
    Despite the desire to blame badgers, a 10-year study performed by The Independent Scientific Group (ISG) on bTB, which cost taxpayers 50 million, concluded in 2007 that following a careful review of all currently available science, "badger culling is unlikely to contribute positively, or cost effectively, to the control of cattle TB in Britain." (section (iii)1, p.23 of The Coalition Since coming into power in 2010, the Conservative Government has cancelled four out of the five vaccination trials set up by the previous Government. After conducting an impact assessment, Defra decided to commence a pilot cull of badgers by granting licences to shoot them as they roam during the night rather than trap them. Experts argue that not only is this method untested but also has the potential to be far less humane and less targeted, causing many badgers not even carrying the disease to be needlessly killed. An optimistic interpretation of the predicted results of the cull using the Government's chosen method puts reduction in bTB at between 9-16% over nine years, meaning at least 84% of the problem will remain. Says it all really !
    Hes obviously a very intelligent man so I cant understand why hes involving himself with issues he doesnt understand." Not to patronise him or anything, of course.
    Wild Wookie
    It never ceases to amaze me that whenever there's a comment from a celebrity on a government policy, the cry comes out that ... "This is not political. Its an animal welfare issue. He should not be politicising the problem." The logical conclusion is that nobody should comment on any government policy! How logical is that? " Brian May is a well-intentioned, very rich, misguided person." The first two adjectives are undoubtedly true, even if the second is irrelevant to the argument. The third is grossly biased - to put it mildly. Brain May is a well-intentioned, well-informed Scientist who has diligently researched this subject scientifically, has come to logical conclusions and is acting according to his intelligent, compassionate nature. Bless him ♥