Friday 28 May 2010

It Seems We’ll Have To Revise That Old Ronald Reagan Quote… should now be ‘The nine most frightening words in the English language: I’m from the government a charity and I’m here to help’:
Patricia Faulkner and Dave Armitage built a run in their Colchester back garden for the squirrel they have named Squeaky.

Although he cannot climb trees, he is able to run about.

Squeaky has been with them for about seven years, but they are moving from Hazelton Road to a smaller home in Norfolk and had to call in the RSPCA as they will not have room for him.
And that’s when they first hit a snag…
The animal charity told the pair they had broken the law by keeping a wild animal without a licence and said Squeaky would have to be put down.
Bet they weren’t expecting that, if their only experience of the RSPCA was those heartwarming ads and ‘Rolf’s Animal Hospital’…
If they defy officials, they could face prosecution.
Well, naturally! The RSPCA aren’t going to look a gift horse in the mouth, are they?

This couple came to them for help, but who cares about that, when there’s a target to reach…
Ms Faulkner, 50, who works as a medic on film sets, said: “I can’t believe they would want to get rid of him.

“It’s like they are the Royal Society for the Protection of Cruelty to Animals, except squirrels.”
I wouldn’t assume, going on their past history, that they are necessarily any better with other creatures.
RSPCA spokeswoman Katy Geary confirmed the couple had unwittingly broken the law by keeping a grey squirrel, as a licence was required under restrictions laid down by Natural England.

She said it would also be illegal to release Squeaky, in the knowledge that he was not fit to survive in the wild.

That means the RSPCA’s only option, other than to put him down, is to find a sanctuary which does have a licence to keep squirrels.
And god forbid they try to do that. It might eat into their bereaved-relative-hassling time and money…
The restrictions are tougher than for many other species as moving grey squirrels into certain areas of the country could put native red squirrels under threat.

Ms Geary said: “It is a bit of a legal minefield.

“It is one of these cases where people are doing what they think is best to care for an animal, but technically they are breaking the law.”
Well, after all, we wouldn’t want to encourage people to start thinking they could care for animals themselves, would we? No, that sort of thing’s best left to the profressionals.


English Viking said...

What is 'Natural England', and who are they to place 'restrictions' on me?

PS. The best thing to do with Grey Squirrels is to shoot them. Tree rats with fluffy tails, that's all they are.

AntiCitizenOne said...

Sounds like they've morphed into UK PETA.,2933,159861,00.html

Joe Public said...

So then there's the "Oh look, it's escaped" excuse.

JohnRS said...

Rats is rats
Pigeons is flying rats
Squirrels is rats with good PR.

Brian, follower of Deornoth said...

Can't quite agree, JohnR. I've never had a problem with pigeons or squirrels in my kitchen.

JuliaM said...

"Tree rats with fluffy tails, that's all they are."

Indeed. As JohnR says, they do get very good publicity.

"Sounds like they've morphed into UK PETA."

They didn't have so far to go as everyone supposed...

"So then there's the "Oh look, it's escaped" excuse."

If, as we'll see in a later post, that proves a barrier to prosecution for a certified dangerous dog, I see no reason why it wouldn't work for these people...