Slash and David Attenborough join Brian May in pro-badger supergroup

Artful Badger and Friends campaign against this summer's badger culls with the release of a song called Badger Swagger

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Slash, Shara Nelson and David Attenborough have joined Brian May on a new song dedicated to badgers. Badger Swagger, out today, is part of the England-wide campaign against this summer's badger culls.

The group are calling themselves Artful Badger and Friends. Their debut single was created by music producer Rob Cass, who has previously worked with acts including Estelle, Robbie Williams and Baaba Maal. "To me all nature is beautiful," he said in a press release. "This track is my humble contribution to stopping the needless slaughter of badgers."

Cass began planning the project after joining an anti-cull demonstration earlier this year. "We decided the best way we could help was to do what we do best: make music," he said. In addition to the artists named above, Badger Swagger includes contributions by Southend rapper Sonny Green and Sam and the Womp, whose debut single topped the charts last year. "[My solo] sounds like a badger riot," Slash announced on Twitter. "Or a bunch of hooligan badgers in a pub."

Brian May is certainly no stranger to pro-badger activism. The Queen guitarist released another badger song last month, inspired by his band's theme for Flash Gordon, and a Badger Rap featuring Brian Blessed and Weebl. The 65-year-old has also made frequent appearances at protests against the cull, including last Saturday's Save the Badgers rally in London. "[This] is a fight against the old-fashioned, bloody-minded, ignorant attitude that human beings and money and political power are all that matter," he said in a recent speech. "It's a fight for the rights of the other creatures on this planet – for their very right to live in these islands."

May and his fellow badger-lovers are campaigning against the government's plan to kill up to 100,000 animals, beginning with pilot projects in Somerset and Gloucestershire. The policy's goal is to reduce the UK's incidence of bovine tuberculosis. Although much of the opposition is founded on animal rights issues, critics also argue that culls are an ineffective way to control bTB. Badger vaccination, already common in Wales, is regarded as a more compassionate, successful and cost-effective solution to the problem.


Sean Michaels

The GuardianTramp

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