Setts, Drugs and Rock 'N' Roll
(or - Why the Government's badger cull must be abandoned)
On 27 February 2013, rock legend and Doctor of Astrophysics Dr Brian May CBE will be attending the Oxford Union, where he will speak on the government’s proposed badger cull, deferred from 2012 following a strong campaign.
In recent years Brian has frequently expressed his horror at the UK government’s unethical, unscientific and potentially disastrous policy on the problem of bovine TB in cattle. At the Union, he will outline his views and discuss his campaign, which culminated in victory last October when MPs voted to abandon the cull. Unfortunately the vote proved only a temporary reprieve for badgers and the government are pushing ahead with the slaughter of yet more badgers this summer.
A ten-year government study known as the Randomised Badger Culling Trial (RBCT), carried out by an Independent Scientific Group (ISG) on Bovine TB, which cost taxpayers an extraordinary £50 million, slaughtering 11,000 badgers, concluded in 2007 that culling badgers "can play no meaningful part in the control of bovine TB in cattle".
This year will see Brian’s campaign group www.save-me.org and the Team Badger organisation he has formed pull out all the stops once again, in order to prevent the new cull: one which, if approved by Parliament, will almost certainly exacerbate the problem for farmers in the UK, and will of course cause badgers unimaginable suffering.
Brian was of course a founding member of Queen, and penned many of their greatest hits – one of which, “We will Rock You”, was reportedly played more than half a million times during the 2012 Olympic Games. His guitar, the ‘Red Special’ which he made himself with his father, is almost as famous as he is.
Brian has written two books on astrophysics, Bang! The Complete History of the Universe, and The Cosmic Tourist, and has many other 'careers', including fathering the musical We Will Rock You and researching 3D photography. He has also campaigned tirelessly for British wildlife over the last few years.
For more information, please visit www.save-me.org.uk or www.teambadger.org
DORSET MAMMAL GROUP INAUGURAL MEETING
DORCHESTER TOWN HALL
Wednesday 27th February 2013 7.30pm
Guest Speaker Renowned wildlife photographer
presenting photographs of
Admission: DMG members FREE Non DMG members £3.00 (deducted from membership subscription if you join on the night)
THE ARROGANCE OF MAN
I took your space
And vandalised your small world
To make as part of mine;
Taming its wildness,
Changing the nature of things.
I fenced that stolen land for business,
So nature would not intrude;
Expecting its respect
For my man-made boundaries
That I patrolled with trap and gun
But I blame you still
For your presence
Among the grazing livelihood
Of the one who took your hunting ground,
Your playing fields,
The one who shattered your quiet life,
With arrogance and disrespect;
Without a second thought.
We have good news and not so good news about last weekend’s coyote killing contest in California.
The good news is that Project Coyote and allies -with your help- successfully exposed this brutal contest, shining the spotlight on a heartless practice. We generated national media on an event that, until now, had gone virtually unnoticed.
We also generated more than 20,000 letters and emails opposing the gratuitous slaughter bringing this issue to the attention of the California Fish and Game Commission and the Department of Fish and Wildlife. Our live testimony before the Commission in Sacramento was powerful and well-received.
Galvanizing a grassroots force of more than 25 wildlife conservation and animal protection organizations to oppose this hunt - representing more than 1 million Californians - comes on the heels of our success in helping stop a coyote contest hunt in New Mexico. Legislation has just been introduced there to ban contest hunts statewide. This is great news.
The sad news is that we weren't able to stop this contest hunt in California because the law allows this wanton abuse of our wildlife. Nor do we know how many coyotes died at the hands of 250 eager contestants because the law doesn't require them to report the body count. Sponsors boasted that the event was "enjoyable" and "successful." A silver belt buckle was awared to the team with the biggest body count. We worked closely with a reporter documenting the event but it was tense going; he and his 13 year old granddaughter were met with open hostility and harrassment.
We promise this: on behalf of the coyotes who died needlessly that we will not stop working for a better way, a better day for coyotes. With your voice, your support and your heart, we will work to end the heartless persecution of our native Song Dogs.
On this Valentine's Day, please consider giving a gift to Project Coyote to help us continue to expose these wildlife massacres and to seek reforms in the ways predators are "managed" in the U.S.
For more information and to let us know you can come along, please call
01452 813168 or email [email protected]
A wonderful short video of Peanuts - the hungry badger, after the lovely children who feed him lovingly placed the peanuts in a very specail way - or did peanut's send us all a message !
A letter from a friend ....
I recently wrote to Western Morning News, Southwest England, with my opinion on the proposed badger cull. This letter was not published. I found your details on the 'Save Me' web site and decided that I would like to send the letter to you as I believe this is a viable answer to the problem;
"Having like everybody else listened to the to and fro of the arguments for many years, it has become clear to me that we are all at least united on one aspect of the problem. That problem is getting rid of TB.
TB is carried by badgers, deer, wild cats and other wild animals. When I was involved in tree planting schemes, the government required me to fence the planting areas against deer to protect the crop, and this was grant aidable. So if it is possible to do this with trees, can we do this with a farm? Can we not fence the farms against the TB carriers and ensure that there is no contamination?
Having spoken to farmers it would seem difficult to achieve this with some farms, but are we not good at achieving difficult?
It will also be possible to create badger runs to bypass farms so as not to interrupt their normal behaviour. There are a lot of farms that this would be straight forward to do. The argument might be that we can't do all of them and if that is the case then do the ones you can. It is normal farming practice to protect your stock from predators and disease, that is why you lock up your poultry at night. So if we extend this philosophy to protecting the cattle and the badgers, then this must be a win-win situation.
So, if the fencing contractors could put some thought to this problem, and perhaps the government could provide some grants for fencing instead of culling, then a positive outcome is unavoidable.
I would like to finish this with FENCE YOUR FARMS!"
Thank you in advance for taking the time to read this
Below the roots of an oak, be there a family of six.
A mother and her babies who she smothers with love and licks.
To keep them warm and hunger free and safe from imposing danger,
she vows this with her very heart that death will be her wager.
And so there came a morning, on which the breeze carried a scent
Of something that made her quiver, for she knew just what it meant.
It was time to show her devotion, and she looked as if to say
"Don't worry my darlings, at least you'll be safe. I'll be seeing you again some day."
She reared her head from the burrow, her ears tracked the source,
and she listened intently to footsteps, of evil upon its course.
The moment is now or never and so she buries all despair,
and for the sake and love of her young she leaps out into the air.
Time seems all but still as she glowers across the divide,
and behold there is man with his weapons, lurking on the other side.
Her stance is proud and ready, for she knows what must be done.
The wind whips round her tail as they spot her one by one.
She takes a moment to look back at her home, and inwardly she cries,
sadness and joy for the life she has bore and for which she would surely die.
The hounds they charge as a unit - for there masters have taught them so,
there's more than she can count and her hope it simmers low.
Away from the burrow she races, with all her speed and might,
never stopping for breath until the oak is far from sight.
She ran until she could no more, her body becoming weak
and she turns to see death trailing her wake, so close to what it seeks.
Her eyes now closed she slumps to the ground, exhaustion engulfs her whole,
and then she yelps as if to say "a mother from her children you have stole."
I wish that I could tell you, that this story ended rightly,
that man had a change of heart and his compassion reigned so brightly.
But man was cruel and heartless, not caring for this mother's life,
and until he does this world will be forever in sickness and strife.