The sickening stench of hypocrisy hangs heavy in the air over Dorset this morning, and the miasma is particularly noticeable above the private estate of the badgers’ champion Brian May.
You will be familiar with him as the celeb who has been denouncing the badger cull and the farmers planning to take part in it in equally vituperative terms.
Yet such opprobrium, it seems, only applies to the business of culling badgers. Culling deer is somehow different, which is why he has been allowing deer to be shot on his 140-acre plot – some 23 reportedly young, healthy animals were taken out by a stalker on his instructions.
Once he was confronted with the story there came the sorry spectacle of the ageing rock musician digging himself deeper into the pit with his claim that he had been advised to carry out the cull because it would improve the health of the local deer population.
Precisely the reason why farmers want to cull badgers: the countryside is now grossly-overpopulated to the extent where TB is rampaging through it as never before.
Finally a classic ‘black is actually the new white’ statement on the affair from the RSPCA illustrates what a corner this completely discredited organisation has painted itself into.
“There is strong scientific evidence that deer culling is humane and effective in certain circumstances. The recently postponed cull of badgers does not accord with these circumstances.”
Why it’s “humane” to shoot a deer but not a badger is an argument I am still struggling to get my head round. As to “effective” – you can only judge that, one would have thought, after the event.