Musician Brian May has caused a stir by deciding to wear a badger emblem on his jacket during his performance at the closing ceremony of the London Olympics, bringing much needed international attention to the plight of this beloved species.
A spokesperson for Brian May said, “Brian’s Jacket designed for the Olympics was in keeping with a core theme that ran through the opening ceremony. The UK is world renowned for its green countryside and the rich wildlife that inhabits it. Our landscape and wild animals have inspired books, films and songs internationally. Brian is well known for his passion for wildlife and it was a natural step to add these creatures to his jacket”
The decision to wear the badger for one of the most viewed events in television history has caused controversy from some quarters, but was met with resounding approval on the internet as users adopted the hashtags #teambadger and #killthecull to show their support. Network for Animals joined animal lovers around the world in applauding this bold move.
Brian May has been a vocal supporter of the campaign to stop the planned pilot cull of badgers from commencing next month. The Government’s plans include the ‘free shooting’ of badgers as they roam the countryside at night using high-velocity rifles. Farmers are footing the bill for the scheme, designed to combat the spread of bovine tuberculosis (bTB) in cattle, despite the fact that a 10-year peer-reviewed study by the Independent Scientific Group on Cattle TB concluded that the culling of badgers would make no meaningful contribution to tackling the disease.
Network for Animals has launched a high-profile campaign to mobilise opposition to the badger cull using the website Shooting In the Dark. We encourage our supporters to write to Caroline Spelman to express their concerns about the cull and share the website widely.
With the support of high-profile celebrities such as Brian May, attention is on the English countryside at this critical time. We are working together with renowned organisations to promote vaccination, effective biosecurity and improved cattle welfare as the essential components of a welfare-oriented strategy for tackling bTB.
Together, #teambadger can stop the cull.