Until he breaks ground on his sanctuary, Gervais is helping wildlife by calling on everyone to join in the campaign against the UK’s planned badger cull. The star tweeted a petition to his nearly 5 million followers on Twitter, writing, “I need your help Twonks, #stopthebadgercull Sign please, & take one minute to save 5000 lives http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/38257 pic.twitter.com/KX2BJetPJQ.”
The petition to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs was started by Queen’s Brian May, who has long opposed the hunt. It claims that over 70% of the badger population in many areas of England will be killed. The government claims that the hunt is needed to control the spread of tuberculosis from the badgers to cattle, while the opponents are calling for “the more sustainable and humane solution of both a vaccination programme for badgers and cattle, along with improved testing and biosecurity.” They also argue that the hunt will do little to reduce the spread of the disease, and could possibly make it worse.
The government has given farmers permission to shoot up to 80 badgers each night, most of which will happen in the early morning hours when the badgers come out in search of food.
May and Gervais are not the only ones opposing the hunt of thousands of badgers; hunt saboteurs are promising to be present in the proposed hunting areas to try to prevent the cull. According to The Telegraph, activists from the group Stop The Cull say they will patrol the hunt areas in Gloucestershire and west Somerset each night, rendering the hunters unable to hunt. Stop The Cull’s Jay Tiernan said, “We will not have to stand between the guns and the badgers. Health and safety rules mean they will not shoot when people are nearby.”
According to BBC, the High Court recently granted an injunction to the National Farmers’ Union, prohibiting protests “within 100m of the homes, and within 25m of businesses, of anyone involved.” Tiernan says that activists will continue to oppose the hunt, adding “It will make absolutely no difference whatsoever. We certainly do want to reduce the numbers of farmers involved. We like to think of ourselves as being very, very annoying. We will use every available piece of legislation we can to make their lives a misery.”
Along with activists’ present in the hunt zones, protesters will also reportedly be holding other demonstrations and vigils.
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