Brian May allowed deer to be killed on his estate, despite campaigning against badger culling.

The Queen guitarist set up anti-hunting charity 'Save Me' in 2010, but he has confessed he allowed deer culling for two years on his 139 acres of land in Dorset, South West England. He cancelled the stalker's contract last spring.

May told The Sunday Times newspaper: ''I inherited culling of deer on the land I bought in Dorset a few years ago, and was initially advised that I ought to keep it up because having a gamekeeper discouraged poachers, and improved the health of the deer population.

''I had my doubts, but I was new to forest management, and realised I had much to learn. I decided to let it continue for a short period, observe for a while, and then take what action I felt was right. A couple of years ago, having studied the effects, I decided to stop the culling.''

The 65-year-old rock star launched a petition on the Downing Street website against a badger cull in two trial areas of the UK to test whether it would reduce tuberculosis in cattle.

His campaign attracted 150,000 signatures and has been credited with playing a major role in the government's decision to scrap the trials.

Although May has been accused of hypocrisy he has been defended by animal welfare charity the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) - an organisation of which he is the vice-president.

An RSPCA representative said: ''We understand that no culling of deer is taking place on Brian's land. There is strong scientific evidence that deer culling is humane and effective in certain circumstances. The recently postponed cull of badgers does not accord with those circumstances.''