ROCK star Brian May is headlining a public meeting in Dorchester to fight plans for a badger cull.

The Queen guitarist will be among the speakers at Team Badger's Stop the Cull event at the Corn Exchange on Friday May 24.

Dorset is earmarked as a reserve site for a cull if two pilot projects fail to go ahead in Somerset and Gloucestershire in early June.

Animal lover Mr May, who owns land near Briantspuddle, will appear at the meeting along with RSPCA chief executive Gavin Grant and other speakers.

Elizabeth James, vice-chairman of the Dorset Mammal Group, welcomed the event and the involvement of the musician.

Mrs James, who also lead the group's badger section, said: “I think it's excellent.

“Getting people like Brian May and Gavin Grant, who obviously support the anti-cull movement, is wonderful.

“They are not hotheads. They know a lot about the science of it and why it should not be done.”

She added: “It is important for people to be informed, and to be told about the scientific approach and to take urgent action by signing the e-petition and contacting their MP.”

The public meeting is from 7pm to 9pm.

Team Badger comprises a coalition of organisations and charities against the badger cull.

It includes the RSPCA, Save Me, the Humane Society International and the League Against Cruel Sports.

Other speaks lined up for the public meeting include Mark Jones, who is a veterinarian and managing director of the Humane Society and Steve Jones, who is a retired dairy farmer and leader of the Not in this Farmer's Name campaign.

The Dorset Mammal Group and fellow campaigners Somerset Badger Group and the Badger Night Walkers set up stall in Dorchester town centre on May 11 to raise awareness of the proposed cull.

Mr May has also been a vocal critic against the proposed cull.

He recently attended a rally at Taunton in Somerset where he spoke against the cull.

He said: “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, owns a 155 acre site near Briantspuddle which he intends to turn progress with a woodland planting scheme.

A plot at a secret location in Dorset will be brought into use if there are problems with one of the other locations in West Gloucester-shire 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.