A campaigner at the forefront of protecting Northumberlands red squirrel population has deliberately drowned a grey squirrel to test the legal precedent set in the recent case against Staffordshire window cleaner Raymond Elliott.
Norris Atthey who is chairman of anti-grey activists Morpeth Red Squirrels says that he killed the animal to confront the RSPCA who brought the successful prosecution against Mr Elliott last month. Mr Elliott had caught and, subsequently drowned, a squirrel he trapped in his own garden.
Mr Elliott pleaded guilty to causing a wild animal ‘unnecessary suffering’ under the Animal Welfare Act 2006.
The landmark case set an important precedent for killing grey squirrels, which are classified as a non-native invasive species, and could pave the way for hundreds of other prosecutions across the country. Mr Elliott is currently appealing against the judgement.
Mr Atthey, who thinks grey squirrels should be killed to protect England”s native red species, said he was incensed by the prosecution. He therefore set out to show that drowning was a humane method of culling. He says that in his experience of the approximately 250 greys that he has killed drowning proved to be the quickest method.
To read the full story from The Independent on 12 August 2010 click here.
Is drowning greys justified to protect the reds?