Azara Blog: Some Tory MP wants to commit mass murder against grey squirrels

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Date published: 2008/06/22

The BBC says:

Not enough is being done to back a mass cull of grey squirrels aimed at saving the red squirrel population, according to Conservative MP David MacLean.

The reds are in drastic decline, and Mr MacLean, an MP in Cumbria, wants a pilot scheme run in Northumberland rolled out across the UK.

The scheme saw 17,000 greys destroyed, and supporters say this has led to a revival for the smaller red squirrels.

The RSPCA has said it questions whether culling is a long-term solution.

Liberal Democrat peer Lord Redesdale has been overseeing the scheme in Northumberland, and says he has almost rid the area of the grey squirrel.

This has been achieved with a government grant of just under £150,000, a professional trapper and 300 volunteers.

By trapping the greys and then shooting them, Lord Redesdale said he was recreating space for the native red squirrels.

But Andrew Tyler, the director of Animal Aid, told Five Live the project was "absurd".

"It's hateful and bigoted," he said.

"The reason the red squirrel is endangered in terms of its population is because it is being persecuted by people.

"Up until the 1950s people killed them by the hundreds of thousands because they were considered pests, just like the grey."

There are only 140,000 red squirrels in the country, in comparison with 2.5m greys. It is believed that the greys have thrived because of their greater ability to compete for food.

Mr MacLean has accused the government of not providing a "small investment" which he says could see, in the long-term, a native British species to thrive again.

It is unbelievable how many people (and indeed people who allegedly care about nature) whose "solution" to a "problem" in nature is mass murder. Even worse, MacLean wants to do it over the entire country. The grey squirrel could well be displaced by black squirrels some day and one can imagine that the morons of the future will then take the opportunity to complain about the poor grey squirrel being rare and that all black squirrels should be murdered. Repeat, ad infinitum and ad nauseum. Nature can look after itself a lot better than a bunch of murderous middle class control freaks who want to play god. Why the taxpayer should fund this stupidity is not clear.

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