EMOTIONS ran high as rock star Brian May spoke at a Dorset meeting against government plans to cull badgers.

It was standing room only at the Corn Exchange in Dorchester as the Queen guitarist pleaded with residents to help join the fight against the cull.

Under government attempts to stop the spread of bovine TB, Dorset could be used as a pilot culling area.

Somerset and Gloucestershire have been selected as pilot culling zones, which would see the badger population cut back in a bid to peg back bovine TB – which has cost the taxpayer £500million in the last decade. Around 300 people packed out the meeting.

Dr May said: “This is an issue which is very close to all of our hearts. “It looks as though they will lose one of the pilot zones in Gloucestershire or Somerset. If they do lose one, they will come to Dorset and cull.

“They don’t tell anyone exactly where the zone is.

“We are talking about shooters with high powered rifles that can kill from a mile away.”

Dr May, who owns land near Briantspuddle, said he feels compelled to speak out about the issue.

“It’s quite incredible to me they can get away with this but we’re looking at a very strange kind of government here. “I’ve tried to avoid being involved in politics all my life – “I still do. I believe animals should not be part of politics.

“We could have been vaccinating our cows by now. We cannot because no one took care of it over the past few years.

“We cannot afford to proceed with this cull.”

To sign the petition visit epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/38257