Dr Brian May, most famous for his exploits in 1980s rock band Queen, is back in the news this month.
Coming after high-profile media reports of illegal badger-baiting in York and North Yorkshire, and the news that the Government have this week issued licences for badger-culling, an e-petition has been launched by the legendary guitarist.
The petition calls for the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) to call-off the issuing of further licences to cull badgers. Notably if it receives 100,000 respondents it may be debated in Parliament, and with over 45,000 signees at the time of writing this is set to be a distinct possibility.
Dr May, a vocal critic of animal hunting, launched the petition on behalf of Team Badger; a collective of organisations and campaign groups who claim that a planned cull of up to 70% of the species could be better controlled by vaccinations and increased bio-security to prevent the predicted spread of bovine TB.
Science advisors also support the facts of petition by saying that culling an unquantifiable number of the animals will not necessarily decrease the spread of the disease, but some farmers are noticeably cautious if the proposed plans stall as it can spread easily to livestock.
Although this debate may be taking place south of Watford Gap, York could be seen as a relevant point of reference for the debate – being an urban centre surrounded by countryside and housing a large department of DEFRA, opinions may be varied, deeply personal and quite possibly professionally qualified.
Depending on where you sit in the debate, if not on the fence, you can add your name here.