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Sunday, 18 April 2010

Badger spreads bovine Tbc

On Queen guitarist Brian May's blog, the hottest topic isn't his searing solo on "We Will Rock You" or the operatic ambition of "Bohemian Rhapsody." It's the badger "genocide" Mr. May fears is headed to the Welsh countryside.Mr. May is part of a large badger-loving community trying to block government plans to kill up to 1,000 of the furry creatures in coming months. Farmers blame the animals for spreading tuberculosis to cattle. A group called Badger Trust has spent close to £100,000 ($154,000) on a legal battle to try to stop the planned killing.A plan to kill up to 1000 badgers in Wales has British rock star Brian May up in arms. WSJ's Jeanne Whalen reports.In March, Mr. May joined badger activists in Wales at a Swansea courthouse, where Badger Trust's wigged lawyers tried to convince a judge that the planned cull is illegal. "What was at stake? Badgers, yes, but much more; the whole question of how we treat the other animals on our planet was in microcosm represented here," Mr. May later wrote on his blog, Brian's Soapbox.Badgers, whose tunneling in gardens bothers some people, too, have long spread bovine TB to cattle, by urinating on fields where they graze, and by salivating on feed. But periodic culls haven't stopped the TB. Meanwhile, the badger-extermination campaign has helped create a devoted band of protesters. The U.K. has at least 60 badger-protection groups.

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