Find out the truth about grey squirrels

Posted on the 24th February 2017

In today’s news (24 February), grey squirrels are being unfairly scapegoated for the decline of the red squirrel. There has even been mention of horrific plans to allow volunteers to kill grey squirrels in a barbaric way.

It is humans, and not grey squirrels, who have been largely responsible for the decline of the red squirrel. In the 18th and 19th centuries, red squirrels were viewed as ‘pests’ and killed in their thousands. A series of harsh winters and disease epidemics further depleted red squirrel populations throughout the country. As stated in a report from Bristol University, there is little evidence to support the view that killing grey squirrels is the best way of conserving red ones.

Persecuting and killing animals can never be justified. There are many ways to deter unwelcome animals without harming them, and we produce advice sheets with details of how to do this.

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