On 30/01/2013 I posted of the RSPCA and the terrier like manner in which it has pursued those who have the temerity to oppose its legal zealots. Currently a pensioner is on bail prior to having a pre sentence report presented to court which will sentence him for killing a squirrel....not of the protected red variety but a common grey pest which is related to the rat and almost as destructive. It is unclear whether the case was prosecuted by the organisation which arguably gives the impression that on occasion it cares for animals more than humans or the CPS. Be that as it may the legal question for the bench was the humaneness or otherwise of the animal`s dispatch from this world.
These animals are good for nothing except extermination, fur gloves or roadkill for American survivalists. They do no good at all in suburban gardens. Indeed they destroy plants, flowers and damage other vegetation. They can be dangerous. They invade lofts. If they enter homes seeking food they can terrify babies and toddlers or worse. Even in parks they can be vicious. The standard method of killing them is with a .22 air rifle after trapping. Squirrels have a thick hide and care must be shown in targeting the cranium which is easier said than done. I am indeed concerned about the findings in this case.
A most authoritative document on this topic is “Review of methods of humane
destruction of grey squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis)” published in 2009 by Scottish Natural Heritage. If readers have neither the time nor the inclination to read the whole paper turn to para 3.1.2 and read from there. Perhaps my J.P. colleagues and interested lawyers would care to offer their own opinions on cases such as this?
Magistrates fined the defendant £140 and banned him from trapping squirrels for ten years.