May says cull is 'return to Dark Ages'
The figurehead of a campaign to oppose a cull on badgers has said if one went ahead it could lead to a return to the Dark Age practice of burning supposed witches at the stake.
Queen guitarist Brian May has also suggested that attacking the RSPCA for pursuing animal cruelty prosecutions was like arguing paedophiles should not face trial.
May, 66, the vice-president of the animal charity, was speaking in response to criticism of it for its political agenda.
On Wednesday, Two Fat Ladies cook and countryside campaigner, Clarissa Dickson Wright, urged people to stop donating to the charity until it returns to helping domestic animals and abandons its pursuit of people suspected of animal cruelty.
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It has been reported that calls have been made for the RSPCA to be stripped of its prosecutor role following allegations, which it denies, that it has increased the number of cases brought to court so as to boost fundraising.
But May, in a statement, said the charity's detractors were pro-cruelty and formed a small but powerful group of rich, well-connected and "utterly ruthless" people. He also suggested the true motive of supporters of the planned badger cull was to bring back "despicable blood sports"
He said: "There is no reason to suppose that it would stop there. We may see a return to legalised badger-baiting, bear-baiting, and even the burning of supposed witches at the stake.
"Britain at this point either allows (Prime Minister David) Cameron's government to propel us back into the Dark Ages of barbarism, or we all stand up and cry 'No!'"