POLITICS

Badger Cull Extension To Dorset Criticised By Queen Guitarist Brian May

28/08/2015 17:52 BST | Updated 28/08/2015 17:59 BST
Joel Ryan/AP
CORRECTS SPELLING OF GESTURES British musician Brian May gestures as he stands on a cherry picker to launch the national Team Badger campaign, in front of a giant billboard, on Cromwell road, west London, Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2012. A rock star is facing off against British farmers, over badgers. The government has issued licenses for the country's first badger cull, and soon snipers will be roaming in search of the animals. But Queen guitarist Brian May is leading a band of badger defenders vowing to stop them. (AP Photo/Joel Ryan)

Queen guitarist Brian May has led the chorus of criticism against the Government's decision to extend the culling of badgers.

The musician said it was a "tragedy" an area in Dorset would by the third culling zone sanctioned by ministers in an effort to halt the spread of TB in cows.

Natural England has authorised a four-year licence for Dorset, where between 615 and 835 badgers are due to be killed over a six-week period this year, alongside the third of four years of culling in Gloucester and Somerset.

Farming minister George Eustice said "strong action" was needed to protect the dairy and beef industry and the National Farmers' Union welcomed the move. More than 20,000 cattle are killed a year through the disease, spread by badgers.

Animal welfare groups point to an independent expert panel's findings that the trials had proved neither humane nor effective and should be halted.

Mr May, who founded the Save Me Trust, said: "The Government should quit now, and save the taxpayer more fruitless expense.

"This is a tragedy for our farmers, cattle and wildlife. The scientific advice has been ignored by ministers with more badgers set to die again this year."

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