Queen guitar legend Brian May as become involved in an issue that’s making headlines in the United Kingdom. May’s name has been popping up on the radar over the past month or so as a result of his animal rights activity. Now I’m not sure what he’s been up to can be classified as “animal rights,” or not, so don’t quote me on that.
What I am more certain of is May’s stance in opposition to what he considers cruelty to animals.
From my perch here in the colonies, it appears that it might have all started back around the end of May when a dead fox cub was found with a rope tied around one of its legs. May offered up a £1,000 (about $1,500) reward for information that would lead to those responsible for the act.
May is known for formation of a group called “Save Me,” an organization that promotes the “decent treatment of animals” according to the BBC. The dead fox was found by a member of another organization called “Wales Against Animal Cruelty,” who decided to offer up a reward that May decided to contribute to.
Since then, the fox debate seems to have gradually escalated. Fox hunts, as far as I know, were a British tradition for many years, but it appears the methods employed by traditional fox hunters was outlawed in 2004 by the passage of a law called “The Hunting Act.”
There is now some alarm among groups like “Save Me,” due to their anticipation of an effort to repeal the law. Things really heated up when a couple of children were attacked by a fox, and Brian May reportedly posted a message on his website declaring that the report of an attack was untrue.
“Fox attacks babies? Sure! And monkeys will fly… out of my butt. Ha ha. And I suppose there is proof?!!!,” May wrote, according to The Sun.
May is now under fire after evidence suggests that the report of a fox attacking 9-month-old twins, Lola and Isabella Koupparis, in true. One of the girls is hospitalized, while the other was treated for serious injuries to her arm. May has since said that he has “huge sympathy for the family.” Both twins are expected to recover.
The authorities in the area of the Koupparis’ home have trapped at least three foxes since the attack, and plan to leave the traps in place until the end of the month.
There was no word on whether or not rabies played a role in the attack, but that is usually the cause of fox attacks that we hear about in the northeast U.S. They are indeed rare, but we do hear of them from time to time. It is not considered normal behavior for a fox to attack a person.
Although May appears to have realized his mistake in publicly doubting the attack, the British press is not showing any signs that they are finished with the issue just yet. A recent story in The Independent is titled “Who the hell does Brian May think he is?”
The story quotes May as threatening to leave the U.K. over the current state of affairs there. The author of the article suggests that an appropriate response to May might go something like this: “Bri, animals are lovely and all, and most of this country loves them disproportionately, as you do. But if you feel this is worth leaving the country over, don’t let anyone stop you now.”