Azara Blog: Scotland throws public money at killing grey squirrels

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Date published: 2009/02/10

The BBC says:

More than £1m is to be spent over the next three years on saving Scotland's red squirrels and protecting routes into their northern strongholds.

The number or reds has been in decline since the arrival of the grey squirrel from North America in the 19th Century.

Greys compete with reds for food and can also carry the squirrel pox virus, which can kill reds in about 14 days.

There are currently about 121,000 red squirrels in Scotland and the country is home to 75% of the UK's reds.

The £1.3m Saving Scotland's Red Squirrels (SSRS) project has been launched in Dunkeld, Perthshire.

There are thought to be between 200,000 and 300,000 greys in Scotland.

It will develop habitats in which the red squirrel can flourish but will also try to control the greys, which will involve killing them.

The Scottish Wildlife Trust (SWT), Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH), Forestry Commission Scotland (FCS), and the Scottish Rural Property and Business Association (SRPBA) are involved in the project.

The BBC regularly publishes this kind of crude anti-grey squirrel propaganda. They do not quote a single person or organisation opposing the scheme. They do not note the irony that the Scottish Wildlife Trust thinks it is in their remit to kill wildlife. They do not question why it is allegedly a good thing that public money is spent in this way.

Imagine if these organisations had said they wanted to prohibit black people from moving into the Highlands of Scotland in order to "protect" the "native" population. It's the same logic, just applied to humans rather than squirrels. Needless to say, the BBC would not publish such racist views (except to denounce them). Well, perhaps if the aim was against English people, rather the black people, the BBC might have played along. Because of course Scottish people are heroic, like red squirrels, and English people are predatory, like grey squirrels.

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