[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Tuesday, 16 December, 2003, 17:57 GMT
New hedgehog cull planned
Hedgehog
The cull is to resume and be extended
A controversial cull of hedgehogs in the Western Isles of Scotland is to resume in the spring.

Environment quango Scottish Natural Heritage SNH has also decided to extend the cull from North Uist to Benbecula and in the following year to South Uist.

SNH said it has no other option because the hedgehogs have been eating the eggs of the protected breeding wader birds which populate the islands.

Animal welfare groups in the Western Isles have attacked the killings, arguing that the deaths are inhumane.

We are moving from North Uist to Benbecula because that is the direction in which the hedgehogs are moving and it's important that we deal with those areas
John Markland
SNH chairman
SNH chairman John Markland said the decision to continue the cull had been taken "with reluctance".

He said: "These hedgehogs should not be there.

"They have been moved here by man but they are causing a devastating impact on the wading birds there, but we have decided that we must continue with the cull of hedgehogs."

"We are moving from North Uist to Benbecula because that is the direction in which the hedgehogs are moving and it's important that we deal with those areas."

He promised a scientific study into whether the hedgehogs could be relocated and said SNH's position would be reviewed next year.

Protesters tried to save the animals when the scheme began on North Uist in the summer.




WATCH AND LISTEN
BBC Scotland's Louise Batchelor
"Animal welfare groups tried to save the animals"



SEE ALSO:
Cost of hedgehog cull defended
19 May 03  |  Scotland
Dogs help hedgehog cull
28 Apr 03  |  Scotland
Hedgehogs die in isles cull
09 Apr 03  |  Scotland
Sleeping hedgehogs defy cull
08 Apr 03  |  Scotland
Hedgehog cull attempt begins
07 Apr 03  |  Scotland


RELATED INTERNET LINKS:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific