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25/01/2013 at 12:14

Just to reinforce my argument ref readily available food for willdlife - the foxes round here seem to leave the rabbits alone, if the increase in numbers these past few years  is anything to go by.  Easier targets are the chickens & other poultry which are now housed on the land adjoining mine.  I often find part-carcases in the hedgerows & lanes, so it's clearly far less effort for the fox to get into the poultry runs, or catch the birds which escape, than it is for them to catch rabbits.

 

p.s. forgot to put in previous thread that I don't think you need a licence for an air rifle, which is what I think was used in the case in question. 

25/01/2013 at 15:33

A grey squirrel has built its winter drey in our willow tree from dried oak leaves, and moss from the shed roof. It feeds from the sunflower hearts in a hanging feeder, with goldfinches on the feeder one twig away, and pheasant, reed bunting and brambling, with up to a dozen blackbirds and 32 chaffinches,( yes, 32 and then I lost count!) feeding on the crumbs the squirrel was dropping on them. Its a wildlife garden for wildlife, we have up to five hedgehogs in the season, we've had otter and the occasional deer popping in. It's on the main,busy village road, with  a huge field on the long edge.  In this cold weather I've seen  three mistle thrushes feeding with the fieldfares. If you want to encourage these handsome birds cut up as many apples as you can sapre and put them somewhere sheltered, they are very cautious birds, and just this morning I heard Today prog. say they were disappearing,

25/01/2013 at 23:47

In Scotland, Hypercharleyfarley, you don't need permission to cross land due to the fact that we have no trespass laws. You can go round the headrig of a field over any land or through the middle if there is an ancient pathway or road running through it, part of the ancient Scottish Laws . As for firing a gun even in your garden...I think its very irresponsible of the guy. It was not in his garden? or was it?  There is no license required at the moment for an air riffle but that is coming into force soon. I don't think that there is any need for a fully grown man shooting a squirrel in the face and then follow with another 4 shots because its trying to feed itself. (Like I said, he can't have been a good shot, and if that's the case he shouldn't be shooting it in the first place )

I think that the reason foxes go for chickens, yes because they are an easier target (once they sort out the fencing ) and they do kill everything due to the fact they will return to store their kill. But these animals are getting braver and braver due to the fact that there habitat is being destroyed and they have to adapt. They are feeding on unnatural diets to them and they are getting bigger due to all the e numbers etc in things like McDonalds and KFC. I have foxes that come in and feed in my garden, hedgehogs and birds as well as rabbits and even a wee pine martin every now and again. If you are looking to feed one sort of animal and not others, they will chance their luck they see what they can get. Until the wildlife can read signs I think they will continue munching on what ever they can get, especially in winter 

26/01/2013 at 08:38

Perhaps you didn't notice that I did say there's a public footpath crossing my land!  I've no objection that - but the people who come after the rabbits don't stay on the footpath......... and I want to know they are there and are taking rabbits, because I don't want the risk of any sort of accident to other animals/people, which is what apparently happened to an acquaintance of someone else who's posted on this thread.

I use the local field footpaths myself, but have asked permission from the owner of the adjoining estate for access to the woodland treebelt where I now often take my dogs for a walk.  There's a "no trespassing" notice + text indicating it's private property & I wouldn't go there without having asked them.

You might not have noticed either that in an earlier post I said that if the chap in question had been a better shot, he'd have got away with it.  I read a report about the case too, and got the clear impression that the man was reported by his neighbours who appeared to be in dispute with him anyway. I still don't understand why you seem so concerned about people trying to get rid of squirrels.  They are classed as vermin.  Would you mind about it if they weren't a "cute little animal with a furry tail" - i.e. a rat?  I'd hoped to make it clear that I'm against cruelty of any sort, and in the case of rats and squirrels, traps might be a better way of dealing with them.  However, a rat trap is designed to kill a rat but a squirrel trap takes them alive so that they have to be "despatched"  by other means.  In my own opinion, a good marksman is probably a better solution in that the squirrel probably won't know what's coming, and doesn't have to spend some time in a cage first.

26/01/2013 at 09:59
I understand where you are coming from but if he needs 5 shots he cant be a good marksman really can he? I do agree with the fact that they need to be dispatched quickly but all im saying is that he should not be shooting in someone elses garden. Dispute or note. There are no trespassing laws in Scotland and hasnt been for a very long time. However, there is damage of property. I grew up on a farm and we were always taught....'one shot'. Im not the kind of lassie thats pink and fluffy and I dont follow the rule of 'Cute and fluffy' Animals are food to me. Squirrels are vermin yes but until they learn to read a sign that says 'NO SQUIRRELS' They will try anything to feed.
26/01/2013 at 10:10

I understand that the man in question caught the squirrel in a trap and was then attempting to shoot it.  If he couldn't kill a trapped squirrel with one shot he was either an appalling shot or using the wrong weapon.  Whichever happened, he was wrong. Clear guidance is needed

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/earthnews/7898494/Hundreds-face-fines-for-killing-squirrels.html

 

28/01/2013 at 12:39

I believe and I will stand corrected if wrong,that you are not allowed to shoot near a footpath or road ,it has to be 150 feet away,something like that.I remember coming into conflict with a shooting party near a path I was walking with the dog and a bullet whistling passed my ear!

28/01/2013 at 14:43

In France it's 150 metres from a dwelling but our local mayor told the local hunt not less than 300 metres from our house as we had children and animals when we moved here. Also he wouldn't let someone build a hide for shooting pigeons down our track because it was too close to the track and it's a public bridleway. So I would think it's 150 metres in the UK because of European law.

28/01/2013 at 14:47
Thats what I mean. He shouldnt have had a gun there in the first place.
28/01/2013 at 15:08
flowering rose wrote (see)

I believe and I will stand corrected if wrong,that you are not allowed to shoot near a footpath or road ,it has to be 150 feet away,something like that.I remember coming into conflict with a shooting party near a path I was walking with the dog and a bullet whistling passed my ear!

I wish someone could get that across to our local farmer. He fires at the pigeons while riding his little tractor along the road.

28/01/2013 at 15:43

That is illegal and ought to be reported to local police!

28/01/2013 at 15:45

Under section 161 of the Highways Act1980, it is an offence for any person, without lawful authority or excuse, to discharge any firearm within fifty feet of the centre of any highway which comprises a carriageway, if in consequence, any user of the highway is injured, interrupted or endangered. For these purposes a carriageway means a highway (other than a cycle track) over which the public have a right of way for the passage of vehicles. Air rifles above 12ft/lbs are classified as a Section 1 Firearm and requires a licence (FAC) otherwise known as a firearms certificate, and an Air pistol above 6ftlb is a prohibited weapon.

The following are considered pests.BIRDS: (covered by the open general licences) crows, rooks, jackdaws, magpies, jays, wood pigeon, collared doves, and feral pigeons.
MAMMALS: brown rats, grey squirrels, stoats, mink and rabbits.

If its not possible to be absolutely sure of killing any animal or bird humanely, then it should not be attempted. 

 

 

28/01/2013 at 15:53
Busy-Lizzie wrote (see)

"In France it's 150 metres from a dwelling but our local mayor told the local hunt not less than 300 metres from our house as we had children and animals when we moved here. Also he wouldn't let someone build a hide for shooting pigeons down our track because it was too close to the track and it's a public bridleway. So I would think it's 150 metres in the UK because of European law." 

Wherever I've stayed in France you've got to be a bit brave to go out into the countryside on Sundays and one other day of the week, because what with the armaments and the unruly dogs it's not at all pleasant. I'm amused that your mayor allows adults to be shot from 150 metres, but makes it just a bit harder to get the kids.

I think the control of the hunts is a bit variable across the France; in one place that I know, they seem to shoot anything that moves, and most of the locals despise them. I get the impression that the younger generations are not so keen on the hunt.

I don't have the information about UK law, but I doubt if it's the same as in France just because we're in the EU. We do all sorts of things differently.

 

28/01/2013 at 20:12
Dove hit the nail on the head. What has been the outcome of the guy?
08/02/2013 at 22:20

i blame it all on the landed gentry it was them who brought in the gray squirrel and the magpie for more game shooting out of season.

09/02/2013 at 06:39

 Wherever did you get that idea from?  The grey squirrel was introduced for it's 'decorative' qualities by the Victorians who liked collecting animals from other parts of the world but didn't understand the damage that can be done to delicately balanced ecosystems by the unthinking introduction of an alien species, and the magpie is a British and European native bird - it was never 'introduced here by anyone - particularly not to be shot as game.  What a strange idea 

14/02/2013 at 14:00

Squirrels are rats with tails, greys are far more destructive than reds, they are also less timid and more readily adapt to urban environments. There will come a point in the next few years where they are going to start paying people to shoot them, The rate they reproduce is similar to rats. I wouldn't shoot a red even if there were millions, because it is our native. Greys are invaders, much like mink, both are doing untold damage to our native flora and fauna, and all down to human stupidity. We need to clear up our mess, 5 shots on a squirrel I agree is rediculous, what was he using? a pea shooter?, I used to drop them with a .22 air rifle, usually in one, but sometimes 2 shots. If you can't shoot very good, perhaps using a gun is not a very wise choice.

I love nature but on certain things we need to be tough. Urban foxes are another bug-bear of mine. They are a problem created by humans, they have very little to do with wild foxes. In the countryside you'd rarely see a fox and each has a huge territory mainly because it needs it to find enough food to survive. In towns and cities it's all you can eat all day everyday, consequently you have a population explosion. I see foxes nearly everyday, and certainly EVERY night. They consistantly poo everywhere, and rip everyones bin bags open, I've also seen first hand a fox go for a cat. Yes they are lovely, but in their correct environment. It is humans who have caused this problem, and it's up to us to fix it.

14/02/2013 at 14:20

Rats are rats with tails. Apart from that, Slowly, you're generalising about things quite a lot. There's no way we can have any old Tom, Dick and Harry walking round Regent's Park 'dropping' every grey squirrel in sight, or sitting in their bedroom window picking off the squirrels on the bird table across the street. Yes, they cause considerable damage, but do you think no-one's trying to do anything? Sadly, we started about 100 years too late.

As for foxes, as you say we provide them with too much food. I'm surprised there weren't a few on the train the other night clearing up after the stupid passengers.  However, I heard someone say the other day that numbers in some areas of London are falling. Tally-ho for the Hampstead and Highgate Hunt!

14/02/2013 at 20:05

I would like to point out that foxes also catch rats ,I have seen them do this while walking to the hospital on a early shift and late shift,and we have lived with them for many years with out trouble,many of the cubs are killed on the main roads and let us not forget that humans are the worst for killing,cruelty,and many crimes and including leaving mess of every sort ,litter,and the destruction of many habitats across the world.Animals are only intent on their survival .We intervene too much  and then cry when it goes wrong.

14/02/2013 at 20:08
Dont agree with hunts. If man didnt destroy the foxes enviroment then they would stay in the habitat they are meant to be in
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