Welsh farmers incensed by Brian May deer cull 'hypocrisy' - FUW

The Farmers’ Union of Wales says it has been inundated by calls from farmers incensed by revelations that pop star Brian May was allowing deer to be culled on his country estate while simultaneously lobbying against a badger cull in Wales.

According to news reports, May allowed 23 "mainly young, healthy animals" to be culled on his 139-acre estate in Dorset as part of a woodland management regime while simultaneously campaigning aggressively against a proposed cull in and around north Pembrokeshire.

At one point Mr May even suggested Welsh farmers should give up keeping cattle or move out of areas in which they have farmed for generations.

FUW TB spokesman and vice president Brian Walters said: “The fact that Brian May accepts the need to cull deer to protect trees but does not support culling badgers to protect cattle has caused extreme anger amongst Welsh farmers.

“Union staff and officials have received large numbers of calls over the weekend from farmers who find the level of this hypocrisy astounding, and it is being spoken about everywhere at today's Royal Welsh Winter Fair.

“Mr May was a kingpin in the campaign to stop a badger cull in West Wales and all the scientific evidence suggests that the success of his campaign means more Welsh cattle will now die than would otherwise have been the case.

“The fact that he was simultaneously sanctioning a cull of deer on his own land in order to protect trees is mindboggling.”

Mr Walters said farms in Welsh TB hotspots were overrun with badgers which, scientific evidence suggests, are responsible for around 50% of cattle herd outbreaks in hotspot areas.

“The revelation regarding Mr May’s deer cull should come as a wake-up call for all those who have been swayed by his propaganda.

“It shows how illogical the reasoning of those who place badgers on a pedestal can be.

“Badgers should be treated like any other mammal which has reached population densities so high that they trigger disease epidemics and massive environmental damage.”

Mr Walters was also harshly critical of the implication by May and the RSPCA that shooting deer is humane while shooting badgers is not.

“This shows complete ignorance and hypocrisy regarding animal welfare and the scientific evidence relating to shooting.

“The acceptance that deer culling is necessary is leading to important environmental and animal health benefits throughout the UK. Yet the positive discrimination shown by the RSPCA and others towards badgers, simply because of their iconic status, is leading to the deaths of tens of thousands of cattle every year.”