THE rock star owner of a nature reserve in Dorset is writing a protest song against the badger cull.

Queen guitarist Brian May, who has land at Briantspuddle, is producing a track for the Team badger campaign against the slaughter.

A plot in Dorset is a reserve site for the cull if there are problems with the other locations in west Gloucestershire and west Somerset.

Mr May revealed the plans at a rally in Somerset as he warned that the Government was on the wrong path with the badger cull aimed at tackling tuberculosis in cattle.

He told the meeting: “You have to wonder why this Government is clinging to this policy that is not supported by science, not supported by the public, not supported by the public, not supported by Parliament and that will not help farmers.”

Mr May, who is vice-president of the RSPCA, is basing the song on a Badger, Badger, Badger cartoon by animator Jonti Pickering. He hopes to recruit actor Brian Blessed to help out.

More than 200 people attended the rally in Taunton.

It comes six weeks before the badger cull pilot project begins in early June to test the effectiveness of culling.

A plot of 300,000 to 350,000 square kilometres at a secret location in Dorset will be brought into use if there are problems with one of the other locations in West Gloucestershire and West Somerset.

The pilot culls will last for six weeks and will be repeated annually for four years with up to 5,000 badgers killed across the two areas.

Supporters of the cull say it is vital to peg back bovine TB as the problem escalates and that an effective vaccination programme is years away.

But Mr May and opponents including the Dorset Wildlife Trust and the Team Badger coalition of charities and pressure groups say the cull will make no difference.

Mr May said: “What we're saying is that if you save the badger, you save the countryside and you save the cows as well.

“You will not solve the problem by killing.”

Mr May told residents in Bere Regis of his plans for a woodland planting scheme to create a reserve on his 155 acre site in February of this year.

His plot lies to the south of the village, between Bere Regis and Black Hill, and is a Site of Special Scientific Interest. (SSSI).

The pilot culls in west Gloucestershire and west Somerset will see the killing of 70 per cent of badgers in each area.

They have been authorised by Government agency Natural England to go ahead in early June.

The two pilot culls were delayed last year in the face of bad weather and the discovery that there were more badgers in the areas than previously estimated.

Environment Secretary Owen Paterson said tackling bovine TB had cost the taxpayer £500 million in the past 10 years, and costs could reach £1 billion over the next decade if the disease was left unchecked.

He said that research in the UK had shown that culling badgers, which can transmit TB to cattle, could reduce the levels of the disease in herds, and that Britain had to learn from experience elsewhere that the tuberculosis could not effectively be curbed without tackling the problem in wildlife.

Mr Patterson said he wanted to see effective and affordable vaccines deployed for both cattle and badgers as quickly as possible but it was likely to take another decade before the deployment of a cattle vaccine which is validated and legal under EU regulations could take place.

The culls have been welcomed by the National Farmers' Union