LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty ImagesQueen guitarist Brian May has been acknowledged for his efforts as an animal-rights activist by the U.K. branch of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). According to NME.com, the organization has named the 65-year-old Rock and Roll Hall of Famer its U.K. Person of the Year in honor of his support of a campaign to stop the British government's planned culling of badgers in rural areas of the country.
May helped spearhead an initiative to save the creatures by founding Team Badger, a group that led to the collection of about 160,000 signatures for a petition against the proposed hunt. In October, thanks to the campaign, the culling was put on hold in lieu of more debate over the issue.
"In his fight to save Britain's badgers, Brian May never backed down," PETA spokesperson Mimi Bekhechi said in a statement. "He spread his message of compassion for animals through everything he said, wrote and even wore until the world sat up and paid attention. His tenacity and boldness are an inspiration to kind people everywhere."
The U.K. government's reason for culling was concern over badgers spreading tuberculosis to cattle. Animal-rights activists insist that inoculation of cattle would be the more effective and more humane approach, but the government apparently is worried about the cost of funding a vaccination program.
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