Animal Aid

Government's wildlife massacre continues

Posted 22 January 2014

(And guess who is paying for it?)

The government is continuing its cull of ruddy ducks. Thousands have already been shot and, according to reports today, there are just 50 or so left in the UK. The cost of shooting the remaining ducks – paid for by the taxpayer – is £2,400 per bird.

Introduced to Britain in the 1940s by the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust, ruddy duck escapees have successfully bred, and some have migrated to Spain where they are said to have mated with the endangered white headed duck. The resulting offspring, although healthy and robust, are considered 'impure' by conservationists and bird watchers. Ruddys have, therefore, been sentenced to death in the name of blood purity. Sadly, we have reports that the cull has also killed many ‘non-target’ birds who have been shot as mixed flocks rise from a lake to escape the guns.

Hunting and habitat loss are the reasons that the white headed duck is endangered. Their status is entirely the result of human activity and their conservation should start with habitat protection. However, governments have instead chosen to target the small ducks.

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