"We have reached the point.... where kindness is officially a crime...."
So Natural England have spoken (again).
2019 will be the year that they want to make criminals out of some of the most compassionate people in the country, those who rescue and rehabilitate wildlife.
No longer will wildlife rescues be permitted to ease the suffering of species which Natural England have decided are 'invasive' and therefore not worthy of compassion and kindness. In discriminating between animals, Natural England have perhaps reached an all time low - and as we know they have already sunk to some depths, such as when they gave the green light to killing native songbirds including the robin and wren.
Previously, laws were in place requiring wildlife rescues to apply for a licence to help injured and orphaned grey squirrels. Though restrictive, these licences allowed for the rehabilitation of limited numbers of the animals.
Now Natural England have sent an email to rescues advising them that their licences will not be renewed. From the end of March, any wildlife rescue or vet that is presented with an injured or orphaned grey squirrel, will, by law, be required to kill it.
"Absolutely Devastating" - Animal Aid
Jade Emery of Animal Aid said of the new rules, "To make rescuing any animal in need against the law is absurd and absolutely devastating. This new Order will do nothing but needlessly increase animal suffering and it is completely implausible that Natural England are unaware of this fact."
She called the new rule 'tyrannical' and added that "by implementing these new regulations, Natural England will be condemning these innocent animals to suffering and often death, and robbing them of any chance of rescue."
The same will apply to some other non-native 'invasive' species such as the diminutive Muntjac Deer.
Compassion Should Not Be 'Regulated' By Natural England
It shouldn't be Natural England's decision.
Wildlife belongs to nobody - and compassion should not be regulated by Natural England, an agency that clearly knows nothing about human-kindness.
It seems that we have reached the point where kindness is officially a crime.
Natalia Doran of Urban Squirrels, a London-based rescue, has started a petition which aims to stop the new regulation coming into force.
You can sign it HERE
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