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Author Topic: Why are squirrels called vermin when they are nothing like as nasty as rats?  (Read 9490 times)

Offline P-Kasso2

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Rats give you plague. Red Squirrels don't.

Rats gnaw the faces off corpses. Red Squirrels don't.

Rats are scavengers eating rotting flesh. Red Squirrels are eco-friendly vegetarians scoffing healthy nuts and acorns.

Rats infest your houses and poo under your cupboards. Red Squirrels don't.

Rats live in foul fetid sewers. Red Squirrels live the good life, alfresco and free-range in the trees.

So why are harmless cuddly ickle Red Squirrels lumped in with rats as vermin?

They look really fit and healthy creatures to me compared to rats.

Just what Squirrels did do to be classed as vermin?





« Last Edit: 09 September, 2017, 07:41:52 PM by P-Kasso2 »
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Offline AtMyWitzEnd

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Ginger hair ... need I say more?

Offline AtMyWitzEnd

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In fact, Red Squirrels are protected under Schedule 5 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and it is illegal to kill or trap one. http://www.opsi.gov.uk/RevisedStatutes/Acts/ukpga/1981/cukpga_19810069_en_27#v00187-sch8. Whereas grey squirrels are listed in the  Destructive Imported Animals Act 1932 and thus gain their vermin status. Grey squirrels certainly used to be a complete pest. When I was young, a bounty was paid for the skin of each squirrel you could shoot. Homeowners can legally dispatch grey squirrels in almost any way (short of bombing them or firing arrows at them, which are both specifically banned in the Wildlife and Countryside Act). Furthermore, it is actually illegal to release grey squirrels or to allow them to escape into the wild, under the Wildlife and Countryside Act, so anyone who catches one is obliged to kill it.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/wildlife/3308976/Killing-grey-squirrels-no-bombing-or-arrows.html
http://f4bscale.worldonline.co.uk/quarry.htm#Grey Squirrels.
 


Offline spryte

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ndtYIkttL7M&feature=player_embedded

cuter on a red squizzle.

we used to have a breeding pair at the bottom of the track that went to my dad's house, but haven't seen them in years.
of all the things i've lost, i miss my chocolate the most...

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Thanks for the answers!

So that means that Grey Squirrels (boo, hiss  Pharp) are classed as vermin - but Red Squirrels are not?

What, legally speaking, does an animal have to get up to to be classified as vermin?

Hyenas and Vultures aren't labelled as vermin but they share a lot of the seedier habits of rats.

Mice are vermin and are pretty cuddly (well, I think so).

But being a rodent isn't enough to warrant being called vermin.

Even some birds such as Trafalgar Square pigeons are regarded as vermin.

Is there a definite and precise definition for being 'awarded' vernin status? Or is it just a loose term?
« Last Edit: 01 July, 2010, 08:24:03 AM by P-Kasso »
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Offline AtMyWitzEnd

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In the UK there are several separate items of legislation that define vermin. Most of this is contained within the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 which defines in its schedules which animals are classed as vermin and can be destroyed and, on the opposite side, which animals have protected status.  The Destructive Imported Animals Act 1932 is also crucial as this is where grey squirrels are defined as a nuisance. This Act was originally written specifically for the eradication of the Musk Rat, which was introduced to Europe at the turn of the last Century as a fur resource but became a nuisance after escaping and forming wild colonies. Similarly, the mink was added to the legislation followed by many other species introduced by accident or intentionally by recognised as destructive. In the case of the grey squirrel, this was purely for the destruction of the native red species and not for any particular harm to humans.

Other legislation relating to grey squirrels are
Spring traps approval Order 1995: Lists spring traps approved for killing grey squirrels.
Grey Squirrels Warfarin Order 1973 (revised 1997): Poison bait may only be used under the terms of this Act
Wild Mammals Protection Act 1996: Prohibits the cruel treatment of wild mammals but allows legitimate pest control by humane means

Your question was asked in Parliament and got an answer almost as vague as mine!
http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld200203/ldhansrd/vo031008/text/31008w02.htm

Offline AtMyWitzEnd

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Incidentally, the reason that the imported grey squirrel overran our own wonderful red version is that the American interloper carried a disease to which they were immune but our indiginous species are not. You'd have thought somebody could have seen that comming!

Offline KentPDG

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We have plenty of grey squirrels in the US, and they definitely qualify as vermin.


"Tree rats", some people call them.

Among other destructive qualities, they chew their way into homes -- for nesting, to find food, for sex, and whatever else they like.  I have found them in attics, cellars, chimneys, and roaming through the living areas.

Once in a while, a squirrel forgets how he got into a room; and if the doors and windows are closed, he can't get out.  Then they go insane.  They try to chew their way out, totally destroying all the woodwork and millwork.  They rarely succeed in chewing through window mullions, but in just a few hours they can destroy everything that is softer than plaster or glass.

Incidentally, they are harder to kill than rats.  Takes much stronger traps, or more poison.  Or bigger guns.

Bethany

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Squirrels get in ur loft a chew it all so to say they live peacefully in the trees isnt accurate. They also eat the eggs of song birds and destroy small trees.