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18/01/2013 at 14:26

I read into days paper that a man shot a squirrel 5 times (once would of been enough) a squirrel just because it came to the bird table where this person put food out.The squirrel can not possible know its not for him and ignore the bird table.He  is part of the wildlife that lives by opportunity and it is not for us to choose what comes if we put out food.We can make sure we do not encourage the rats and put squirrel proof cadges but we should not condemn them if they beat you at the defences.we are the intruders into their world and have encouraged much of the behaviour of these creatures.If you cant take the creatures you dislike into your heart ,don't feed the habit,and if you have to practice culling and pest control make sure you do it quick and cause no suffering.

18/01/2013 at 16:56

Actually, grey squirrels are the intruders in Britain and are pushing the native reds further and further north and reducing their numbers year by year.

Grey squirrels are officially classed as vermin and it is legal to kill them humanely.  It is illegal to release a captured grey squirrel back into the wild.

Infuriating for people who want to feed the native birds to see these tree rats nicking the food.

 

18/01/2013 at 17:12
flowering rose wrote (see)

I read into days paper that a man shot a squirrel 5 times (once would of been enough) a squirrel just because it came to the bird table where this person put food out.The squirrel can not possible know its not for him and ignore the bird table.He  is part of the wildlife that lives by opportunity and it is not for us to choose what comes if we put out food.We can make sure we do not encourage the rats and put squirrel proof cadges but we should not condemn them if they beat you at the defences.we are the intruders into their world and have encouraged much of the behaviour of these creatures.If you cant take the creatures you dislike into your heart ,don't feed the habit,and if you have to practice culling and pest control make sure you do it quick and cause no suffering.

Sorry flowering rose but this is a case of double-standards-correct me if I am wrong but were you not telling us a few weeks back to put broken glass in chocolate to kill rats-how humane do you consider that ?

18/01/2013 at 17:21

I think the grey squirrel was deliberately introduced into the UK in the mid-1800s somewhere in Cheshire - and spread rapidly, causing such a problem that during the 1950s there was a bounty of a shilling or a cartridge for a squirrel tail.  They do quite a lot of damage to young tree growth so I guess it may have been The Forestry Commission which instigated this.  I think they raid birds' nests too, so aren't good for wildlife in general so far as I can see.  I know someone who had to deal with a whole lot of problems in his house's loft, due to damage caused by squirrels nibbling at cables etc.    One of my nephews has a thatched house and has ongoing problems with squirrels damaging the thatch in the eaves.

 

I got the impression that the person who was prosecuted was in some sort of dispute with his neighbours anyway - maybe if he'd been a better shot he might have got away with it.  I know that if you trap a squirrel, it's an offence to release it somewhere else.  You are supposed to dispose of it humanely, and not release it.

18/01/2013 at 17:35

Yes, Charley, the offence was causing suffering to an animal. Silly man!

18/01/2013 at 18:11

lazy,your right it ,but it is quite frighting that a man like that with gun can get so violent about a squirrel,where next if his temper took to using a gun?The neighbours cat?

18/01/2013 at 20:07

I think that you underestimate quite how annoying some people find squirrels, Rose.

19/01/2013 at 11:43

I think we need to get a bit better at living and letting live.

19/01/2013 at 13:55

Been reading this thread with interest. Is it only the greys that raid bird tables , do damage and generally put peoples backs up ?

Do the reds have better table manners and are much more well behaved ?

Grey squirrels were introduced by man. It is not their fault they are here at all and certainlly do not deserve to be shot at , maimed and left to suffer in agony. That squirrel was also shot in the face.

Sorry, but that guy deserves all he gets ( and more.)

19/01/2013 at 16:48

We can't escape the fact that grey squirrels are classed as "vermin" - as are rats, for example, and it is not against the law to kill them any more than it is against the law to kill rats.  The problem here seems to be that the person who got into trouble for killing a grey squirrel didn't manage to despatch it quickly and relatively painlessly - which is why I said in an earlier post that if he'd been a better shot he'd have got away with doing the deed.

The greys carry some sort of disease which, whilst it doesn't seem to affect them  badly, does affect reds and is one of the reasons for the great reduction in the number of red squirrels in the UK.  I think the reds are less flexible (if that's the word) as regards diet too, so the greys can survive and flourish in a wider environment than the reds, which nowadays seem more or less confined to those areas where there are pine forests.  Clearly the "powers that be" consider the greys to be a serious problem because of the damage they cause so I personally have no problem with their being controlled provided that this can be done efficiently and without undue suffering.

19/01/2013 at 17:09

We only have red squirrels here in Dordogne and they are much shyer than grey squirrels. I have never seen one eat the birds' food in my garden I see them quite often when I walk in the woods, but they always rush up trees. Red squirrels only live in mixed forests where there are deciduous trees and evergreens so it's not just the grey squirrels fault. Human beings have destroyed their habitat. It is a shame grey squirrels have got so prolific. I think they are rather sweet, it's not their fault and, although I understand that perhaps they need to be culled, they should not be left to suffer and I think only professionals should deal with the culling. 

19/01/2013 at 20:43

I was interested in all views on this hot topic. I have culled many grey squirrel not because they eat all the bird food but the damage they have done to my property. I am the one who supplies the food but cannot choose what type of wildlife i only want to attract and wouldn't mind if that's all they are interested in but it's not . I have a squirrel cage and only use it when i am home so once caught then killed and disposed. I would not use a gun because if i didn't kill it in one shot i would feel awful it being in the wild somewhere suffering. I have a wood at the back of my property which you would think they would prefer as their habitat but my loft seems to attract them all. I mend the damage and then it is damaged the following day. This was all happening before i started to feed the birds and with a hazelnut tree at the end of my hedge i knew i would not get rid of them completely but when i was catching at least 7 a day i knew i had to many numbers. Sorry if it upsets anyone but the damage they do is shocking i am lucky my husband is an electrian and his father a retired builder to fix the roof. They are vemin with a fluffly tail nothing cute about them

21/01/2013 at 11:36

It looks like I am in a very small minority, but we encourage squirrels into our garden. Admittedly, if they were chewing the house to bits I might have a different view, but we get hours of enjoyment watching their antics. The cat also really appreciates having these visitors who she regards as playmates, although the feeling is not reciprocated.

Taking a gun to a squirrel does in any case seem a bit extreme. I thought we gardeners were a gentler bunch.

21/01/2013 at 12:12

me  too,but like you obviously if they are causing havoc to your roof or like me rats in the roof you have to do something  ,but what concerns me most is the aggressiveness the want to kill.

21/01/2013 at 20:48

I agree with you both if they didn't enter the house and cause so much damage then i would not kill but they do return all the time and was hoping they would get the hint. I love watching them too, when they argue between one another and chase one another it looks like they are playfully enjoying themselves and my amusement when i saw a squirrel steal a corn on cob from a farmers field and try to hide it in my lawn sadly he failed miserably and gave up and just sat there eating it. Taking a gun to a squirrel is over the top, there are much better and humane ways of going about it.

24/01/2013 at 14:52

here on the isle of wight.. we only have red squirells.. if a grey is seen we have to report it and it is hunted and destroyed.. th ey are not native and are classed as vermin i believe.

24/01/2013 at 14:55

@busy-lizzie.. my mum fed them in her old garden.. put out whole hazelnuts for them in a basket in the tree or up high near a run they can use.. and they will come..

they are very shy and very beautify when they do get seen..

24/01/2013 at 23:03

I have to say that I am quite shocked at some of the stuff on this thread. Glass in chocolate for rats??? There are products on the market that deal with them humanly. Shooting a squirrel??? Who gives him the right to shoot anything. The thing is, I would be questioning why the hell he was using a gun in a public area??? Even an air riffle is dangerous. I had a friend shot many years ago because of a similar incident. There are plenty of feeders on the market that keep the squirrels from feeding there and in all honesty, man has destroyed so much of their habitat that they, like foxes, are now coming closer into society to feed. Man doesn't think before he acts. Deer destroy trees, fences etc as does many other creatures. This man deserves a kick up the arse for his actions. If you cant use the weapon and end the poor creatures life in one shot...why the hell is he trying to shoot it in the first place. 

25/01/2013 at 09:18

Obviously there is no concern here about Grey Squirrel numbers .I have had greys in my garden since I moved into this house ten years back as I have a mature oak tree which they like. They have made dreys in the eaves of both mine and my neighbours homes but we have only seemed to have one pair at any one time and the houses are big and the damage has been minimal and not endangering the waterproofing of the home as the eaves have a large overhang. So I leave them be. They do not as yet seem to have stealing from my birdtables either but if they did I would devise a method to stop them. Although I guess that would be difficult based on this... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uY9Yf26J4ZM

25/01/2013 at 12:06

Just to clarify - people "have a right" to shoot things in this country, provided they have the appropriate gun licence, and the landowner's permission. In the case initially discussed on this board, I think the person wasn't in what you'd call a "public place" - it was his garden, I believe.    In fact, not many areas are actually "public places" - though you might be forgiven for thinking that, given that people feel free to roam through the countryside at will.

 

For example, although there is a public footpath which crosses the field at the back of my house, I do get a bit cross when/if people come along to take rabbits etc without asking my permission first.  Wildlife knows no boundaries and wild creatures are what you might call "opportunists" and will frequent places where food is easily and readily accessible, hence the huge increase in the numbers or "urban" foxes.  The same applies to squirrels - and rats, come to that - so don't be surprised if you see them in your garden!  All welcome to come after the rabbits here - but please ask me first!

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