The online petition calling on the Government to “stop the badger cull” – launched in autumn 2012 by Queen guitarist Brian May – finally closed on September 7, having collected a grand total of 303,771 (ish) signatures.
We say “ish” because, due to the nature of the online signing process, additional signatures are continuing to dribble in day by day. In fact, the last 24 hours has seen the “final figure” rise by another 100.
[Editor’s note: as of September 23, the count stands at 304,027 signatures]
Whatever the actual final figure, this e-petition smashed all records: on launch, it received the number of signatures required to have it considered for debate in the House of Commons in just two weeks; it then went on to more than triple that figure, making it the biggest ever on the Government’s website – beating “Convicted London rioters should loose (sic) all benefits” into second position.
Bearing in mind only 21 out of 23,134 successful petitions (0.09%) launched on the website have succeeded in achieving the required number to be considered for debate, this truly does show the strength of feeling on the subject.
But will it make a difference? Who knows? MPs initially voted against culling in October 2012, yet environment minister Owen Paterson is fully behind the trials and seems determined to see them through – although he should beware, another e-petition currently online is entitled simply: “We call on Owen Paterson to be replaced from his position as Secretary for the Environment”. [2,808 signatures]
One other petition of interest to us at the moment is one yet to achieve the full complement of signatures required. Currently sitting at 71,430, celebrity vet Marc Abraham’s e-petition to “Ban the sale of young puppies & kittens without their mothers being present” needs a hand to achieve its quota, so please do think about signing to help end the cruel practice of puppy/kitten farming in the UK.
But if you need more of a reason to sign, check out the amusing viral video below. Launched by Pup Aid to promote the puppy petition, the short film stars comedian Mark Heap (Spaced, Green Wing) and follows the humorous exploits of Philip the dog when his owner pops out to buy milk…