Long a vegetarian and supporter of animal rights, Queen guitarist Brian May has taken to the British press in an attempt to prevent an upcoming mass slaughter of badgers by the British government. In the Daily Mail on Sunday (Aug. 26), he penned an editorial against the plan, which is being carried out to stem an outbreak of bovine tuberculosis in Somerset and Gloucester.

“It is being pursued on the pretext of ‘doing something’ about the problem of bovine TB,” he wrote. “Yet that ‘something’ is immoral, demonstrably unjustifiable by science, and will ultimately cost the farmer, and you – the taxpayer – a fortune. Nevertheless, [British Prime Minister David} Cameron, Agriculture Minister Jim Paice and Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman cling to this appalling policy, and one can only assume that they are pandering to a powerful farming leadership who helped elect them."

May, who added that he has often voted for Cameron's Conservative party, said that the National Farmers Union (NFU) does not believe the killing of badgers will help the problem, and feared a return to Britain's "barbaric past."

In response, Ian Johnson of the NFU said, "I don’t know where he’s got that from. Brian May is a well-intentioned, very rich misguided person. “If he wants to get involved in animal welfare he should be getting involved with the scourge of TB that affects not just cattle but other species too. His comments do nothing to help a rational debate about the problem."

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