Grey squirrels have an image problem, so is it time to stop persecuting them?

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Wildlife

Grey squirrels have an image problem, so is it time to stop persecuting them?

28 May 2019
News
Nestled in blankets in a Surrey wildlife hospital, an adorable fluffy animal glugs specially formulated milk from a syringe, blissfully unaware it is the subject of a bitter Brexit-related row.

The five-week-old was rescued after an unwitting tree surgeon disturbed the nest it was in. It is now being nursed to adulthood by volunteers at Wildlife Aid Foundation and will eventually be released back to the wild. But if Brussels bureaucrats had their way, this spirited little survivor would have been swiftly dispatched at birth with a sharp blow to the head. The reason? It is a grey squirrel, and the European Union doesn’t like greys. Neither does Defra.

Under EU law, greys are classed as an invasive species and member states are ordered to implement policies aimed at their “eradication, population control, or containment”. Brexit will not change this. Defra and its ministers are adamant that, even after the UK leaves.