Royal Parks under pressure to halt cruel wildlife culls

Posted on the 20th December 2017

More than 75,000 people have signed a petition, calling on The Royal Parks to stop culling healthy animals.

Freedom of Information Act requests by national animal rights organisation, Animal Aid, revealed that more than 11,000 animals have been culled in the Royal Parks between January 2013 and January 2017 (inclusive).

Approximately 8,400 mammals and 3,240 birds have been culled in Bushy Park, Greenwich Park, Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens, Regent’s Park, Richmond Park and St. James’s Park.

These figures include 3,679 squirrels, 330 foxes, 2,657 rabbits and 1,734 red and fallow deer. They also include 1,221 crows, 268 geese, 382 magpies, 46 jays, 1,025 pigeons, and 298 parakeets.

Total figures per Park: Mammals

Park Total
Bushy Park 4,108
Greenwich Park 79 (deer figures included with Richmond Park figures, maximum of 6 animals per year. )
Hyde Park 452
Kensington Gardens 490
Richmond Park 2,998
St James’s Park 190


Total figures per Park: Birds

Park Total
Bushy Park 1,802
Hyde Park 56
Kensington Gardens 72
Regent’s Park 27
Richmond Park 985
St James’s Park 298


The petition was started by Natalia Doran, who runs a squirrel rescue and rehabilitation organisation called Urban Squirrels.

Says Natalia Doran:

‘The public are largely unaware of the culling of animals in London’s Royal Parks. More precisely, they think that when the animals are culled, it is in small numbers and for their own good, because they are old, ill or injured. Nothing could be further from the truth: the numbers are very high, and the decisions to cull seem to be made not on scientific grounds, but on a whim.

‘The petition calls for a professional assessment of the Parks’ carrying capacity and the use of non-lethal methods of deterrence.

‘The Parks are under new management now, so it would be an excellent opportunity to pull together the efforts of life scientists, animal protection and animal rescue organisations, volunteers and paid staff in order to make the parks the sort of spaces that the increasingly animal-aware public can properly enjoy.’

Says Animal Aid Director, Isobel Hutchinson:

‘The Royal Parks urgently need to change their brutal and callous approach to wildlife. These animals play a vital role in allowing park visitors to re-connect with nature and take a break from city life. Yet these innocent wild animals, who bring so much joy to people, often find themselves at risk of being killed.

‘For people who visit these parks and relish the opportunity to see wildlife, it must be a real shock to find out about this disturbing killing regime. The rapid rate at which this petition has grown shows the incredible strength of public feeling about this issue – people want wild animals to be cherished and not culled.

Notes to editors

  • For more information please contact Animal Aid by phoning 01732 364 546
  • For full copies of Animal Aid’s Freedom of Information requests, please contact Tod Bradbury on tod@animalaid.co.uk
  • The petition can be found here.
  • Further information about the The Royal Parks culls can be found here.

 

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