Animal Aid has long been concerned about the growing tendency to scapegoat various animal species for the vices of human beings. Some species are being targeted because they are deemed to interfere with agricultural or 'game' bird production systems; others, because they are regarded as urban ‘pests’ or ‘aliens’.
Wild animals are already facing immense challenges from climate change, habitat destruction, pesticide use, loss of hedgerows, the urbanisation of gardens, roads traversing their environments and the ever-increasing urban sprawl. And those who do survive are often blamed for encroaching on our space! From the politically motivated badger cull to the ‘gene cleansing’ ruddy duck cull, wild animals pay the price for human demands.
Animal Aid’s report With Extreme Prejudiceexamines the hidden motives behind the systematic destruction of certain wild species. (It is included in the Helping Wildlife Pack, along with your choice of information about how to humanely deter wild species from your home or garden, and other campaign info.)
In this report, Animal Aid calls for tolerance, for compassion and a willingness to concede space to the natural world. We belive that it is both morally obnoxious and utterly impractical to dictate which species can live where and to kill those that do not fit into the grand scheme, and yet this is how much modern conservation is conducted. Ecological harmony cannot be restored through the barrel of a gun or through the use of body-crushing traps, snares and poisons. Thankfully, there is a move among some conservationists to a more compassionate and practical approach, and we are proud to be part of that movement.
Many local authorities have a pest control department or hire the services of one. Animal Aid encourages all authorities to explore safe, effective and humane approaches rather than killing wild animals. This is why we produced a report entitled Alternatives to Culling, which offers practical information about how to humanely deter unwanted individuals. We have already sent it to every County, Borough and Town council in the country free of charge, but if you would like a copy, please contact us.
Animal Aid encourages tolerance but there are times when we may need to deter an animal from a particular area, such as a squirrel who has taken up residence in your attic. Thankfully, many unwanted visitors can be deterred quite easily.
Once you know what attracts an animal to your home or garden, it can be changed. Often, the problem is that we leave food out or bins unsecured, but it may just be that your garage or rooftop is a cosy place out of the rain. For more information about humanely deterring wildlife, download Alternatives to Culling and the associated factfiles on birds, squirrels, foxes or mice and rats.
CURRENT WILDLIFE CULLS
Sadly, there are many species being persecuted in the UK at this time. Below are six of them – click on the image for details and to see how you can help.