Brian May hit out at pro-fox hunting activists the Countryside Alliance on BBC’s Newsnight on Thursday night (July 9).
Queen guitarist May, an animal welfare campaigner appeared on the programme alongside the Alliance’s welfare consultant Jim Barrington, with the two engaging in a very heated debate (see video below) over the government’s plans to relax the current ban on fox hunting.
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The Huffington Post reports:
During the segment, the Queen guitarist accused David Cameron of underhandedly dismantling the fox hunting ban, describing the prime minister’s move to scrap the limit on the number of hounds used for flushing out foxes “repeal under another name.”
Playing the heel, Barrington, a welfare consultant for the Countryside Alliance, countered that Cameron’s was simply trying to “address exemptions in the act.” Under the current law, farmers can flush out foxes using two dogs for reasons of “pest control.” However, MPs will have a free vote next week on scrapping the limit on hounds, making it almost impossible to prosecute those involved in hunting.
The pair opened by clashing over flouting of the law in Scotland, with May “rejecting utterly” Barrington’s assertion that the forthcoming vote was about “wildlife management.”
“There is no justification for the hunting of foxes on the grounds of control of foxes,” stormed May. “They breed them to hunt, it’s all about people… catching foxes for fun, they like causing pain and this is what Cameron is endorsing.“
“This is the way it’s always portrayed,” replied Barrington, “a bunch of sadists going out and killing for fun… this is about wildlife management,” he repeated.
“I’m sorry, bollocks,” shot back May, before showing the savagery of the “sport” with a graphic picture of a fox being flushed out. “The hunts are a nasty vestige of the last century which should be gone,” said the guitarist. The welfare consultant attempted one a last prod, reiterating his line about “pest control.”
Having chased and cornered Barrington, May then flushed him out: “You’re a bunch of lying bastards.” All that was left was for Laura Kuenssberg, a passenger for the entire meet, to apologise for the language.