At the start of this week Scottish Land & Estates attended a reception at Clarence House. Hosted by the Red Squirrel Trust (RSST), the reception was held in support of the work of the UK Squirrel Accord and was attended by HRH The Prince of Wales – Patron of RSST.
The reception celebrated the announcement made by Lord Gardiner, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to secure a fertility control solution for the grey squirrel and sought support from those attending to raise additional monies required for further development of this research.
The development of an oral fertility control drug for grey squirrels, administered in bait by species specific hoppers, would provide humane control with greater effectiveness and lower cost than other methods to industries related to the countryside. This latest research represents a major step forward to protect our broadleaf trees and native red squirrels.
Whilst the DEFRA backed research by the Governments Animal Plant Health Agency (APHA) has already demonstrated proof of concept, further monies are now required to complete this research.