But is he humane?

February 19, 2011 at 10:16 am 10 comments

From Thursday’s Telegraph we learn that in the United Kingdom:

It is legal to kill grey squirrels and most people do it by trapping and shooting. But it must be done in a humane manner or you will be fined under animal welfare laws.

[...]

However the Royal Society for the Protection of Animals argue that most people will be incapable of killing a squirrel without causing “unnecessary suffering” and will therefore be in breach of the law. They recommend taking the animal to the vet to be put down for around £30 or calling in pest control experts who will shoot the animal or kill it with a blow to the head.

So we have a law that does much to discourage residents from killing grey squirrels. This, despite the fact that:

The grey squirrel is having such a profound impact on British wildlife that the IUCN have now listed it on their list of the 100 worst invasive species globally and several other conservation groups are calling for radical steps to be taken to prevent irreversible damage being done (Lowe et al., 2000).

In the spirit of diplomacy, Audie would like to know what  he needs to do to be licensed as a pest control expert in the UK.

Pest Controlled

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Entry filed under: dogs, wildlife. Tags: , .

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10 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Rob McMillin  |  February 19, 2011 at 10:38 am

    Great pic of the Oddman!

  • 2. Viatecio  |  February 19, 2011 at 11:26 am

    So, aside from the few who actually MIGHT be incapable of properly killing a squirrel, the RSPCA would like the people of the UK to know that they think everyone is an idiot.

    Way to earn the respect of the people, RSPCA.

  • 3. Nancy  |  February 19, 2011 at 2:52 pm

    Mama Faith would like to join Audie in the pursuit of ridding the island of those terrible pests. She would be very willing to submit her resume which includes surviving by her wits and hunting skills for over 2 years.

  • 4. Christopher@BorderWars  |  February 19, 2011 at 5:36 pm

    The garbage man took away 7 of those this last week. For some reason they all decided to come out of hiding at the same time and their reflexes were considerably slowed compared to the fall.

    They were brazen though. Celeste watched one of them in the apple tree for several hours before he made his jump. He chirped and threw things at her, but he didn’t hit the ground alive.

    I’d say he was gone faster than any pellet shot to the skull.

  • 5. Jill Morstad  |  February 19, 2011 at 5:53 pm

    Soon, spring will really arrive and with it, litters of baby rabbits. The Belgians bide their time…and one day, the bunnies who’ve thus far evaded the jaws of death are suddenly TOO BIG to fit through the hole in the chain link and…

    ….SNAP!

    Like Christopher’s garbage man, ours hauls away the rabbit carcasses without comment.

  • 6. SmartDogs  |  February 19, 2011 at 6:29 pm

    We let ours eat their prey. Well, except for the skunk. Since they regularly eat random wild critter poop they find around I figure I’ll have to worm them a few times a year anyway.

  • 7. Rick  |  February 19, 2011 at 6:31 pm

    I see squirrels as a source of entertainment for my dogs, they chase them out of the yard, along a fence or wait for them to fall from a tree!

  • 8. Anissa  |  February 19, 2011 at 11:49 pm

    Ah, the UK. Makes me glad to be American.

    A friend recently purchased his first home and discovered he has moles (or one very enthusiastic one). We are currently negotiating the loan of my Rottweiler/terrier cross Anita to him to exterminate the critters.

    Anita is smart enough to differentiate between the rats we raise for the snakes and the wild rats hanging out in the drainage ditch. She also knows that tame rats in a large plastic bin (temp housing while we clean cages) are not fair game, and when they jump up to the edge she licks them til they fall back down into the bin. If one escapes in the house or back porch, though, it’s hers. Smart girl.

    My pack of four (which also includes a Carolina Dog, a Beagle, and a Beagle/Dachshund cross) keeps the critter population low. They take snakes, squirrels, rats, mice, moles, and once a possum.

  • 9. Christopher@BorderWars  |  February 21, 2011 at 12:55 am

    I have to ask if this qualifies our herding dogs as honorary hounds/terriers? I mean, I think my dogs bag more game in a given year than a certain working terrier person.

    The one downside (and really no way to avoid it save chopping down all the fruit trees) is the squirrel fleas and a case of “uncommon” worms once [required eating the either the rabbit/squirrel/vole innards near death].

    I take in a dog stool sample to the vet every once and a while just to check.

  • 10. Reece Fowler  |  January 4, 2012 at 5:47 am

    The RSPCA say that you should take a squirrel to a vet to be put down for a fee.

    What a load of rubbish. If you shoot a squirrel, it is all over very quickly. If you take it to a vet, it is not. It has to endure a lot more if it is taken to a vet, such as being picked up in a cage, waiting in a room with large cats and dogs, and being injected with a sharp needle.

    Most of the British public are capable of killing squirrels humanely, and if they aren’t, they get pest controllers to do it for them.

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